Today really did it for me - it confirmed everything I had suspicions about and everything I knew was about to show itself.
My sabbatical is about to end...but not in any way I can predict for myself or for anyone reading this.
But I do know this: what I've been doing for over two decades is over. I'm done. I've seen all I want to see, and after dipping my toes in the water to see if a return was imminent? I knew that it was not. That I no longer have it in me to deal with the things I've seen over and over. And over. AND OVER.
I received an invitation to talk to an organization who seemed to have a pretty cool mission, but it would be doing the kind of work I've always done. And the invitation came weeks late (see yesterday's post on how I feel about responsiveness), and the conversation was very deja vu. The corporate world where people rarely want to have real conversations, where the answers to important questions are responded to with textbook answers, and where there is little interest in building relationships. And, to be honest, I saw a lot of the same things I saw at companies in Portland, where diversity was talked up but the real work was not being done. And I suppose when someone tells you that they don't value metrics when it comes to diversity, you know what you are up against. Yikes. As I learned decades ago, if you don't measure it, you can't manage it. So I walked away.
And with that, I have decided to formally retire from recruiting as a career, and am committed to using everything I've learned throughout my decades of working in HR & Recruiting to help those who really want to evolve, to empower them, and yes, to LEARN. Learn? Yeah, learn. I want to partner with people and organizations where I have the chance to learn and grow, to contributes my talents and lessons learned in a different way and grow new skills. What a concept. I'm looking forward, for example, to talking to a local nonprofit who has their feet on the ground of the community I'm moving to, are honest about what they care about, and need someone who not only brings the passion but has some of the skills that I bring to keep things running. If it's meant to be, it'll be, and if not, that's fine too. I'm going to explore this next chapter and keep listening to my gut, because so far, it's taken me on quite an adventure.
What a beautifully blank slate I've created for the next chapter in my life and in my career. I am grateful for this sabbatical, and the open canvas it has come to create...