I was very lucky that 2018 blessed me with the opportunity of a new work position. For those of you that read this, you may remember my other post, Quitting and reclaiming YOU. Although I have generally the same level of responsibilities, I feel far less stress at this job than I did at the other. I found myself discussing this with my new boss Monday as we returned for the new year and sorted out all of the tasks for closing out last year and setting ourselves up for success in 2019.
Suddenly, I found myself in a giant moment of gratitude and excitement for what lay ahead instead of the cold sweat that used to hit me while headed to my prior job most everyday for the last three months I was there. Later, after leaving work for the day and reflecting on our conversation, I tried to pinpoint what was the shift that was now causing such a great joy in my life and my general ease — even if my days are still filled with invoicing and accounting. And then it hit me — kindness and trust.
There are still tons of stuff that I do not know at the new job and I sometimes find myself wading through a fog searching the internet or making 10 phone calls trying to figure it out but there is a consistent trait of my boss that accompanies me in that journey — KINDNESS. She never is short or rude with me when it takes longer to complete something. She jokes that I know far more about accounting than she ever will or wants to. She congratulates me on small victories and pitches in on the hunt when all of the avenues seem exhausted. She empowers her people to be smart and capable and to try things and to not be afraid to fail. She encourages creative solutions and thinking outside of the box. She doesn’t see every question as an opportunity to chastise you or make you feel small.
In this aha moment, it also gave me more clarity as to what truly drove me from my prior position. It wasn’t that I actually hated the work, it was that I hated to see that my former boss has lost his kindness. I have a sneaking suspicion he has lost his kindness for not only his employees, but for himself. And that was tragic. The work wasn’t difficult, but his lack of kindness and empathy was. I pride myself on those traits in myself. I am also a firm believer that we are whom we allow ourselves to associate with. In supporting this, I had decided to “put my money where my mouth was” and with the support of my partner, decided to remove my talents from that space. I know I wasn’t the only one to decide that either, but I definitely was the first in our small business.
I like to think that the texts I get from former customers validate my decision as they speak of how my decision has voided the place of the kindness and warmth that it once had. I feel for my former co-workers that live on eggshells as to which boss will greet them each morning. I am grateful to the Universe for my opportunity out of there, the moment of bravery to seize it, and the perspective it has given me to carry forward in the rest of my life. Kindness, no matter how seemingly small of an act, is monumental.