Wednesday, January 21, 2009


The thing I'm struggling with and dreading the most is telling my current firm that I am leaving. I agonize over how to do it. I can't think of anything else. I go to bed and rehearse it over and over. Do it now? Do it later? What do I say?

I feel guilt. I just finished maternity leave and got paid for all 12 weeks. Will they think I took advantage of them? I successfully negotiated to stay an associate last year, then found out I was pregnant. It was not planned that way. But I did know that I was pregnant during the final negotiations. Some of the partners think I had it all planned out - to stay an associate, keep my current salary, and coast without any expectation to meet my goal.

The firm had to outlay a large chunk of change on my behalf recently. There is guilt over that. Although whether I stayed or left, that would have been spent.

The firm spent a long time training me and investing money into my career development. The senior partner especially. Now his health isn't great and when I leave, there will be no one else practicing family law here to help him.

On the other hand - I can't go around living my life out of guilt. I can't continue to do things that aren't best for me, out of guilt or trying to do what is best for others. I can't not make a decision because of what someone else might wrongfully think, or because they might think less of me.

My life has been governed by guilt a long time. I know this will all be over soon and I'll be happily learning the ropes at a new job. It's just getting through to that point.


mssc54 said...

If the partners care about YOU they will be understanding and actually excited about your oppertunity.

You can explain the oppertunity you have for a more structured, family centered lifestyle and thank them for the time you have been with them. You like to think that it has been a mutually beneficial arrangement but the time has come when you have to reprioritize your life and do what is BEST for you and your family.

If they plan to hire someone to replace you, tell them you will do all in your power to get that person up to speed and make the transition as seemless as possible.

The longer you wait to tell them the more difficult it will be on everyone.

Have no guilt for doing what is BEST for you and your family. I'm sure when the time comes for you to "review" your life you won't say; "Gosh... I wish I would have stayed at that firm."

DM said...

You know, as I've thought about this new job offer for you, I had a hunch this might be one of the bigger issues you would have to face head on.

When I left a former employer @ one point, who had also cut me many favors, I felt similiar mixed feelings...was I ungrateful? Was I only looking out for myself? It might appear to the casual outside observer... ,yea, Enola, I've had some of those same voices talking to me...bottom line- just like Mssc54 said..if your current employer care about you as a person, they will be exited, if they don't then, well, someone may have a hissy fit. too bad, so sad.
In your heart, you know, this is not something you've premeditatedly been planning for're just living your life as it comes and now there's a fork in the road.
That's why when I come to these points in my life, I keep reminding myself of this scripture:

, "Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowlege him and he will make straight your path."

We're praying DM

Joy said...

I agree with mssc54 and DM.

Do you remember me quitting after my maternity leave with Paco? Same deal but I was quitting to stay home full-time.

I still had those some feelings you just wrote about. I had just returned from 3 months off, a conference to boost my skills and....

I quit. I cried when I told my boss.

And the relief I felt that night I can still feel today.

Ahhhh. I did it. I did what was right for ME. For my family. And after all the voices in my head, I was able to go to sleep.

And then wake up worried about what was next. ;)

Hugs, my friend.

Kahless said...


I sentance you to stop feeling guilty!!!

(oh and the word verication is "all will be well" - uncanny that!)

April_optimist said...

You are a good and honorable person and I'm guessing the partners know that and will be able to understand why you are changing jobs. You've gotten some good suggestions already so I'll just wish you luck.

Angel said...

Look at you working through it!

Marj aka Thriver said...

You know if you turned the situation around and you were being laid off or something, they'd say, "It's just business. It's nothing personal." This is a career decision for you and it's nothing personal toward them. I officially, hereby release you from your guilt! LOL! Would be great if it worked that easy, huh?

Rising Rainbow said...

I think what you must ask yourself about guilt is whether it is justified or there because it's those old patterns that have taught you to take it on.

It seems to me the guilt you are describing here is all of that old stuff. Any time you do something others might not like, then it must be your fault. Is that right?? That kind of guilt is really not yours to carry. As long as your behavior is appropriate you have nothing to feel guilt about.