Friday morning I left early for work on my bike so I could enjoy the ride in and have time to think about how I wanted to approach my boss about me moving to Spain to teach English.
I should preface this with the fact that I was going to speak to the Director & Managing Director our company who used to be my direct manager. However, I know him well as he took me under his wing when I first started there which I am forever grateful for. We are also very close friends. He’s not my direct supervisor right now though, so I was no handing in my resignation to him. I just wanted to talk to him about moving to Spain as a friend, mentor, and co-worker. Unfortunately given our strong relationship, it made the discussion all that more difficult.
On my bike ride into work, I had planned out how I was going to bring it up. I knew he left at noon and was going to be gone all next week, so I had to do it then. There was no putting it off.
As work began I mindlessly did some busy work at my desk that I had been meaning to get to for some time now. This happen to be the opportune time to do it because I was able to zone out and get myself in the right mindset for the impending conversation. When 11:10 rolled around and I know his meetings were done, I nervously/anxiously/confidentially – honestly, there were so many emotions running through me I don’t even know – walked upstairs and into his office.
I asked if he had a second to talk and if the door could be closed. As I closed the door, before I even sat down, he said, “Don’t tell me you’re talking another job.”
“Well, that’s what I want to talk to you about,” I replied.
Our conversation began, and I explained about the opportunity in Spain. He knew that last year I had turned down the chance to go teach in Spain, so he was aware of my desire to do so. Also, he probably hears me refer to my study abroad experience and travels in general quite often, so my interest shouldn’t, and wasn’t, a surprise. He actually had quite a few questions that I didn’t expect him to ask about it all:
“Where will you be living?”
“How much will you get paid?’
“Do they provide anything for you, or is it all on your own?”
“Are you going to try and meet a Spanish woman?”
He was genuinely interested in the whole program, which surprised me in the first place, but when he essentially encouraged me to take the opportunity and go, that really caught me off guard and was not what I expected. At a point in our discussion, he told me that I should take the chance do it.
He said, “Mike, when you graduated college you were in a serious, almost marriage-like relationship that ultimately wasn’t healthy, and you didn’t get to experience and do the things you really wanted, like this opportunity to go to Spain. I think you should go if you are always going to have this itch to go and are going to always think ‘What if,’ if you don’t go.”
I was extremely grateful and appreciative of his genuine support and encouragement. He actually listened to me –my reasoning, my dreams, and my story. It would have been easy for him to get upset and say, “What the heck are you thinking? You won’t be making that much money! It won’t help you in your career.” – a response I’ve gotten from others.
We did speak about what my plans were when I return and that I probably could not come back to employment there. Although, he did mention that they recently revised their no rehire policy which now allows the company to consider former employees for rehire. I told him that I wasn’t expecting to be rehired in a year or two or three and that I didn’t have an exact plan was to what I wanted to do post-Spain, if there ever is a post-Spain. I was going to play it by ear and see where life goes a la the Mapless namesake of this blog.
Next week, I’m planning on handing in my resignation – three weeks notice – to my direct supervisor. Now that this is all truly real, and I’m leaving my stable, well-paying job for an unwritten future I am getting a bit nervous but even more excited. I cannot wait to be boarding that plane to Spain – my dream. The reality of Spain is really setting in, and I can feel that taking this leap of faith to move abroad is really what I need to do.