I wanted to share the story below, pulled from Facebook. It’s from Sonia Quinones, a Lift Off
Alum Family Member who recently decided to leave her job
I finally told the coworkers about my resignation. My manager arranged it so I’d be the last to speak at our staff meeting which ended about 2 hours ago. Have to say, that was a smart move on his end because it was like a bomb went off.
First utter silence. Disbelief, jaws wide open, red faces. People in cubicles who aren’t part of our department standing up to see me and confirm that what they were hearing was true.
Then movement. Hugs and tears. Questions. Lots of questions. And now – courtesy of a friend who is working overtime and texting me what my colleagues are saying – a bit of snark about why I didn’t give more notice as well as storytelling about how none of them ever thought they’d stay so long either “but”…
The famous “but.” It’s amazing the excuses we give ourselves about why we can’t change our lives. The expression on their faces when I made it clear that I’m leaving to pursue a life-long dream, well, I’ll remember that for a long, long time.
All told, I’d rather be me right now than them. And isn’t that a good thing?
The sad thing is that I already know what my coworkers would have loved to have been doing with their lives. I know their passions, what they get indignant about. I’ve known for years.
Most of them grew up in the sixties. Nearly all were active participants in one type of movement or another: civil rights, the women’s movement, union labor protests, living wage movements. The list goes on. They are amazing people wasting their energy in an agency that really just wants them to shut up, be quiet, and get back to work. It’s a horrible mismatch.
I decided a while back that we all couldn’t have found a more punishing place to work if we had tried on purpose.
I see versions of this story nearly every day. It’s akin to when you walk past the elevator while everyone else is taking the stairs – in that moment they see you doing it, they are challenged because they know they’re taking the easy road. You represent a choice to be better, a choice they decided to call in on.
Take the stairs. You’ll lose the people who want to take the elevators, but you’ll meet fellow souls who know the stairs are making them stronger.
And if the words don’t do it for you, here’s me talking about it.
p.s. Remember, I’m not pro-entrepreneurship – I’m pro-thriving. For some people, deciding to take the J.O.B. that enables them to self-actualize more is taking the stairs.
Thanks to Adam Baker for the video footage!