Making the Choice: Personal over Professional

This is going to be a relatively short post, but as many people have been asking me why I am leaving my current position, I thought I might as well do a brief post about the whole thing.

TL;DR version: We’re moving and since my current position is not a remote/telecommute job, I am resigning.

For the fuller explanation, read on.

Preparing for the Professional Career

To give a bit of context, let us go back a few years. For those who are unaware, doing my master’s and getting my MLIS was a career change for me. Being a librarian is probably what I would consider my second career.

Being a few years “behind”, I felt like I needed to at least give myself a leg up, so while I admire my peers who managed under harder circumstances (usually being due to personal situations), I believe I spent an above average amount of my time during those 2.33 years on creating a jumpstart for my career.

Almost ironically, I dragged out completing my degree by doing the full three terms of co-op, with two rather different co-op jobs (one in library web services, and one in government information management in Ottawa) alongside an academic student librarian job, plus did as much “extra curricular” as I could manage: being a member/executive of one or two student chapters of professional associations, doing a practicum, attending events and conferences, and volunteering in other ways.

Despite graduating much later than most of my cohort, I don’t regret it since my experiences allowed me to get a really good feel for what direction I wanted to go in, and my co-op experience landed me my first full time contract right out of school.

Moving for Work

While I was grateful for immediately landing a full time contract, it meant moving to Toronto. Not only that, I had to convince my partner to move too.

For those who don’t know, Pomax moved to Canada so that we could be together after many years on opposite sides of the world. And yet, only 4 months later, I moved to Ottawa temporarily without him to do my second co-op, spending 3 months apart; and then only a year after his initial move over, I asked him to relocate again (though with me this time) to Toronto.

When my contract got extended, I had to convince him to stay. In the end though, since neither of us wanted to stay, I managed to get another contract back on the west coast, but it meant moving again.

Spending Extra Time for “Work”

I will be eternally grateful for the professional development time that I was allowed during my years in academia to attend events, do research, and write. Of course, even then, I spent a lot of time outside of my regular work hours on professional related work whether it was reading, writing, or organizing.

The amount of time I spent on professional work that was not directly related to tasks and projects required to do my job decreased overall once I left academia, but since I had no time allowed during my day job, the amount of my own time spent on such activities increased an incredible amount.

My family, and especially Pomax, had to put up with me spending my “free” time, energy, and sometimes even money to attend conferences, present, and write.

Making the Choice

I have no regrets around moving for work and spending my time on my professional work, because the results speak for themselves, and I have worked with amazing people to get to this point in my career and life.

However, just when I thought I was getting settled, having landed my first permanent job, life decided to throw something my way. Our living situation became problematic. Very problematic. I won’t go into details, but it got to the point where we needed to move, and soon.

I had intended to stay in my job for at least a few years, and was very reluctant to make the decision to leave, but anyone who knows about the housing situation out here will know that the Vancouver area has become unaffordable, especially as we wanted a detached in a quiet residential area. Long story short, we were essentially forced to look elsewhere and without wanting to go too far, we ended up buying on the island.

I knew that looking on the island would mean leaving my job, but after everything that Pomax had done for me, I couldn’t say no.

Moving Forward

I should say, I couldn’t completely say no. In order to give me enough time to finish a bunch of projects and for my workplace to post my job, I gave my supervisors almost 4 months notice. I have been working on a transition plan and making sure all the operational work is documented.

Everyone has been asking:

what are you going to do?

My answer is still that I don’t know. Until I figure it out, I have offered my services as a consultant to various people and at least have interest from a couple of people, so we’ll see.

Wish me luck.

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

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