Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg discusses women, leadership and success in her book Lean Inn released back in 2013. Among all of the important and valuable messages that she mentions there was one in particular that resonated with me simply because I thought it adequately described a particular situation I was going through. The message was the following; “Don’t leave before you leave.”
I heard this at the precise moment when I was dead set on resigning from my corporate job. She explains the phrase “Don’t leave before you leave” as the moment in a woman’s life when she thinks it’s time to give up her job because she sees not being able to attend to her future, unborn children if she remains working. In other words, it is “looking for the exit before it’s time” says Sheryl. Whoa. Light bulb moment!
The reason why it resonated with me so much was because I was going through both a future resignation and a plan to start a family. As I looked at my situation I thought, “Oh man! Am I doing exactly what Sheryl says NOT to do? Am I leaving because I want to start a family inthe future and I don’t see myself wanting to come back to this job?” It hit me hard and it started to take over my mind until I quickly decided to let it go. I realized that it was in my best interest not to fret and let time take care of it.
So, I separated the two topics, resigning and babies, and I asked the all important question: WHY? Why are you thinking of resigning? My answer was; “I’m thinking of resigning because no matter how hard I try to convince myself to stay, my heart and soul always tell me otherwise. I was not myself at work, I was sad and I was not achieving my full potential.” Then I realized that the answer did not have anything to do with future children. That’s when I knew that I was resigning for the right reason.
Sheryl says that she is still dealing with letting go of the guilt of not staying at home with her kids. But what keeps her going is the love for her children and the love for her job. She says that you must wait to make the decision to resign from your job after you have had the child. That was one of the most difficult decisions she had to make and that’s why she insists that you must love your job in order to go back to it. Fast forward to February 2016, I resigned from my other job after giving birth to my first born in June 2015 and have not looked back since. It was the right decision for me at the right time. I’m also fully aware that not everyone has the luxury of staying at home with the babies, so I am grateful and feel very lucky.
My take away from this was to not jump into conclusions so quickly and to just stop and listen to the ‘why’ of things. If you love your career and don’t see yourself staying home with your children, then by all means work on your career girl! It’s all about making the right decision for yourself. However, premature decisions are the ones that may not work out. I’m loving being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and I can’t get enough of my little Alfie day in and day out.
Check out Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk below (with Spanish subtitles).
Thanks for reading!