After mum died I needed time off from work. I couldn't manage my job on top of the grief I was experiencing. So I took two months off. But as the two months of leave slowly grew to a close I found myself dreading going back to work more and more.
Before my mother passed away I was already disliking a number of things about my job. Like the 1 1/2 hours it takes me to get there and the 1 1/2 hours it takes me to get back. Like the fact that all my good friends have now left and gone elsewhere. Like the fact that my workload is enormous because most of the staff who are left do not support each other and don't share work.
I could go on. But the point is I was already disliking my job and I was already looking for work closer to home that I would hopefully enjoy more.
I've been in my current job for six years now and despite what I just said, it has actually been the best job I've had to date. But it is a tough job and others haven't lasted as long. A lot of people I know have left the industry altogether or sought jobs elsewhere.
And now my strength is gone.
I have always felt that I needed another job lined up in order to leave my current job. And it is scary to leave something without a backup in place.
But I needed to leave. So I decided to quit.
When I rang my manager to quit, she said "Please consider taking leave instead, that way you can keep your job. You can take leave for twelve months. Then another twelve months is available after that. So all up you can have a leave of absence for up to two years."
"But I want to be able to look for other work", I said.
"You can still look for other work and do other jobs but keep your job secure and keep all your entitlements for two years", she said.
"So I can keep my job secure for two years, keep all my entitlements secure during that time, work where ever I want during that time and decide to return or quit within two years?"
"Well OK then"
So that's what I did.