What I Learned When I Left Providence and What I Want to Learn Now That I’m Back
by Madison Carter
Two years ago, I quit my dream job.
I worked very hard to get my job at Providence and, in all honesty, I loved everything about working here – the work, the people, my bosses, our beautiful office in the heart of Downtown Bakersfield. So, why on earth did I quit?
It’s hard to explain, but before me was an opportunity to learn a new avenue of marketing and graphic design, and a chance to get my now-fiancé to move back home from Colorado. At the time, it was the right choice. And while I may not make the same choice if I had the chance to go back, it all worked out and I learned many lessons along the way.
Here are three things I learned during what I will henceforth call my “walkabout”, and three things I hope to learn now that I’ve come home.
What I learned when I left Providence:
1. Don’t burn your bridges.
You see it all the time on TV: the worn-out employee has enough and makes a dramatic exit to the detriment of their employer. Some sort of fun music plays in the background as they walk out of the doors for the last time. The credits play and that’s the end of that.
As much as I love watching a dramatic exit on screen, there are very few (if any!) instances where leaving on bad terms is appropriate in the real world. In reality, most of us are just people doing the best we can, and no one deserves to be treated poorly. Even the best jobs have their fair share of trials, and it’s easy to let the little things build into bitterness. But don’t let your temporary feelings leave lasting impressions and don’t leave on bad terms over small things.
Luckily, I left Providence on great terms. I never had one moment where I felt anything but respect for and from our leadership here, and everything was handled with the utmost grace and dignity. But even in the best circumstances, you need to make sure that you are intentional in the way you handle the situation. Which leads me to…
2. Don’t lose touch with your people.
Very rarely in life do you meet people that treat you well. Don’t lose touch with those people.
I had an easy time keeping in contact with the team at Providence because of my fiancé, Aaryck, who is a digital marketing specialist at Providence, and I always loved seeing them at events. I kept up with them on social media, I came to their mixers, I took every opportunity I had to spend time with them, because I genuinely enjoy being around them.
The lesson I learned on walkabout was that you shouldn’t give up on relationships just because you don’t see people every day. Stay active, stay intentional and try to hold on to those relationships where you find value. Make the time to reach out to people that matter to you, even if it’s something as simple as leaving a quick comment on social media. And part of keeping relationships means that you must…
3. Be willing to admit when you are wrong.
This was the third time I had been interviewed by Tracy, and I felt comfortable enough to tell her and Amanda that I was wrong for leaving. That was huge for me, and I’m so grateful that they received it well.
While my walkabout made me stronger, I did learn that I belong here, at Providence, with this incredible team of people. I am grateful that they gave me another shot at my dream job, and this time I’m here to stay!
What I want to learn now that I’m back:
1. How to be the best project manager possible.
Stepping into this role, I have a lot to learn! Providence has grown astronomically in the last two years, and I have quite a bit of catching up to do! We have more staff, more clients and more to do than ever before, and let me tell you that I am ecstatic. I’m jumping in to our projects with fresh eyes and I can’t wait to manage our projects, create content, and run effective campaigns for our clients.
2. How to better serve our clients and our community.
The Central Valley is an amazing place and I’m so grateful that I get to live here now, in the middle of all this change! I love seeing that our community is working together to create a bright future for our little piece of the world. Whether it be meeting new people at events at or going through trainings to be the best I can be, I can’t wait to see how I can jump in to help through my new role at Providence.
Our clients are second to none and I’m looking forward to serving them with excellence. I’m ready to learn and build new relationships along the way.
3. How to manage my stress levels and take care of my health:
This last point is my personal goal in my new role. Taking care of my health is something I am not naturally good at. I’ve been learning and practicing, though, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. Working in this field can be very stressful and we all must work hard to stay healthy so we can stay on top of everything!
I also know now that when I’m stressed out, it’s likely someone else on the team is feeling it too, so I’m looking for ways to serve my teammates even when I’m not feeling my best.
All in all, I’m overjoyed to be back at Providence, and I feel that the future holds great things here! I’m grateful for every single step of my journey and for all the people that got me where I am today. And if you’re one of the 49% of millennials looking to leave their jobs in the near future, I hope that this little glimpse into my journey can help you make wise decisions for your career path.
I’ll sum it up as this: it’s important to know when to leave, but it’s infinitely more important to know to stay when you’ve got a good thing.