Now That You Know

Posted: 15 June 2008 in work

I admit, I put the wheels into motion months ago to leave the Service.  I sought and got a secondary degree, something useful that I could use immediately.  Last fall I started searching for new jobs.  It wasn’t easy.  Typically, officers change jobs every two years and to leave suddenly, early, would have left a gap that my colleagues would have had to manage, cover and overcome.  Ethically, I struggled with my decision to apply to even one job before my assigned departure date.  I even waited to apply in earnest until the new year, hoping that lengthy academic hiring processes and other bureaucracies would keep me with State long enough to avoid being missed.  Hoping, honestly, to be able to make a decision to stay.  I never imagined how stressful it could be to juggle school, job searches and ethical professionalism without dropping a ball.

In the end, I had to drop a few balls.  I’m happy to be able to stay almost through the end of my tour.  In fact, the gap that’s coming is not one of my making.  Few bridges were burned and I believe I’m leaving with my supervisors’ and collegues respect intact.  Not an easy thing to do when you’re making a desicion so completely in conflict with their chosen life goals.  I’ve hesitated writing any of this at all – frankly, I could have used the outlet months ago when I agonized over every choice – but while many officers are bloggers, there is still a post-cold war sensitivity about airing dirty laundry. 

But I’m not the only one making this choice and I don’t feel like invisibility still suits.  Points for reading along.

  1. digger says:

    I find that the more frustrating I find something I am dealing with at work, the less apt I am to write about it for fear of saying something out of bounds. Many of the issues I have ended up blogging about I have had to talk myself into because so many of us feel like we are dealing with those issues alone.

    So I am glad you decided to talk about your experiences. Because I find that so many of our collegues really aren’t aware what we face.

  2. backlist says:

    Agreed. I still have second thoughts, but not much to lose at this point! And you’re right, it’s important.

  3. Dylan says:

    Deciding what to blog about is always difficult, but especially so in your situation. I am glad to know there are such thoughtful people serving our country, and of course, I am very glad you are writing again!

  4. backlist says:

    Thank you. Fortunately for us, there are still many more thoughtful folks left behind – as I say, braver than me.

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