“a ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it’s built for” ~ Albert Einstein
One week ago, I gave my notice at work. After 11 years at the same job, I will have my last shift next week and will begin a new job early in September. I am super excited about the new job, but I also expect that my final few days at my current job will be bittersweet and emotional. Although I have often joked at work about quitting if we ever began selling French fries or kids’ toys, the truth is that I honestly never expected that I would leave.
I was the ship safe at shore. While there were frequent frustrations at work and my belief in the company had faltered over the past few years, I could not have imagined stepping out of the comfort zone in which I was ensconced. I might have dreamed about changing jobs, but I never truly believed that such an option existed for someone like me. Despite all the changes I had made in my life, big and small, I thought that I was going to be stuck forever. Why would I leave the safety of the shore? How could I leave the shore?
And then I one day I walked into my local Starbucks, like I do rather frequently. The manager “took” my order, but really she knew exactly what I wanted without me having to tell her. She took me off-guard when she leaned over and asked if I had ever considered applying for a job there. She offered to chat with me over coffee, and I took her up on that offer. Listening to her describe the company, its’ mission statement, and the passion they have for customer service, I couldn’t help but feel excitement and hope blossom within me. This opportunity sounded like a perfect fit for who I am and who I want to be as someone who serves the public. The process for applying was explained to me, and I submitted the online application that evening. The next step was to go through 3 interviews: first with that same store manager, secondly with a different store manager, and finally with the district manager. It took a couple of weeks to get through the interviews, and then I finally received word that the job was formally being offered to me. As I had been expecting good news, I was prepared to give my notice the next day, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy, no matter how excited I was.
In a way the timing was absolutely perfect. I gave my notice last Tuesday, and then I was on my little competition holiday. Last Tuesday was an emotional day, so it was rather nice to have be away from work and focused on something non-work related for a few days. I’m enjoying my extra days off, but I believe I am looking at only 4 work days left. Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. I almost can’t believe that this is all that is left, but I am truly excited about what the future holds. I will miss a great many people though.
When the question of applying at Starbucks was posed, I suddenly realized that I did have a choice. I did have options that I could not see before. I didn’t have to stay at the shore, when I knew deep down inside that I was made for something more. Undoubtedly, I have disappointed quite a few people with my decision, and that pulls at the heart-strings of a people pleaser like me. While I hate to disappoint or let someone down, I have to do what is best for me. This is a big change in my life. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and giving up a fairly consistent schedule, and yet I couldn’t be happier. And you know something, it warmed my heart to hear that many of the Starbucks staff were keenly interested in how my interview process was going and what was happening. Since I have formally accepted the job, I have been congratulated by a couple of baristas, been recognized by baristas who I didn’t think knew who I was, and generally just been made to feel very wanted and welcome…and I haven’t even officially started work there!
Possibility is everywhere, if you are open to it. I could have slammed the door shut as soon as I was asked if I had thought of applying at Starbucks, because why would I leave a comfortably uncomfortable job. And yet, I have made enough changes in my life over the past few years that I have become familiar with believing in myself and the potential within me, even if I still struggle at times. Instead of closing the door, I flung it wide open and made the decision to step on through it. This ship is setting sail.