picture of candies that say “it’s not me it’s you”

Give yourself permission to Resign, Reset, and Refocus

Tina Indalecio
4 min readFeb 23, 2023

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Relationships should be mutually beneficial, when they’re not, it’s time to move on.

I recently broke up with my employer.

I say “break-up” because work is a major relationship in our lives. Usually, the one that completely takes over everything. It impacts our time with family, our physical health, our mental well-being, our financial situations, and our learning opportunities.

Some work relationships are wonderful, we get to learn and grow and it’s amazing. Some are toxic, kill our spirits, and make us question our abilities. But regardless there are always lessons to be learned if we pay attention.

We learn what we don’t want in a work relationship, and we learn what type of environment we can thrive in. We learn what kind of leaders, managers, mentors, and peers we need to surround ourselves with. We learn what we are willing to tolerate, and what are deal breakers.

But most importantly, hopefully, we learn what we are worth.

It’s important to understand and accept, that no relationship is perfect. You must be willing to do the work if you want to succeed. But unfortunately, the system is not always fair — even when you do the work, and you do it well. So, if you find yourself in a relationship where you give more than you get, and it’s clear that is never going to change, you must be willing to make a change.

Staying where you are is easy, choosing to grow, learn and embrace change is harder… So hard that we consciously and unconsciously fight it.

We make excuses as to why we can’t leave a toxic work relationship, we become complacent about being treated like a number and not having growth or true mentorship opportunities. We accept pay inequities, expensive medical plans, and vacation packages that are comical at best. We tolerate bad behavior that kills the culture and our spirits… because we know our efforts will be futile, and frankly because we are exhausted from fighting the system.

Yet we keep working and dedicating so much energy to a relationship that rarely if ever gives back to us. But it’s on us to change the situation we find ourselves in, and the first step is realizing we always have options, even when it seems like we don’t.

For many of us, the catalyst that pushes us to leave is a “last straw” event. But that event is not the reason we decide to leave, it’s just one of many reasons that have been leading up to our departure.

Employers need to realize that when they don’t do their part in a relationship, people eventually leave — and it is usually their top talent.

My last straw event came a few weeks ago. I won’t go into detail here, but let’s just say that the phrase, “you can’t make this sh!t up if you tried” is frequently used among many of us leaders.

My decision to leave was not reactive, it was long overdue. I talked to my wife and friends, sorted out my finances, and took some time to think before I sent off my resignation letter. It only seemed quick to some, because I am so efficient.

It was emotional for me to tell my team and the main customer we support that I was leaving. But after a good cry, a bottle of wine, and some time alone to process… I no longer felt guilty for leaving. I realized I have been fighting for change that will never come at that company. And saying I was done, was not quitting, failing, or giving up… It was the right thing to do, for me.

I know in my heart I did my best to be a good employee, a good leader, and an advocate for my team and others while I was there. But it is time to move on.

I have no desire to jump right into another work relationship — good or bad. This latest experience has made me realize I need a break. That burnout is real, and this current path is not sustainable. I’m sure some people think I’m crazy for giving up a senior position, without another job lined up. Especially those who know me because I am the type of person who always has a plan. So, this is new territory for me.

But I am worth the financial risk to take time to figure out what’s next and to chart a new course forward. We all are. Because we all deserve to be in relationships that are healthy, and mutually beneficial.

We are more than utilization rates, margins, and resources on a balance sheet. But until we start seeing ourselves as “more than” — no one else will.

I have no idea what I will do next. I do not have a set plan. Maybe I’ll tackle some house projects, write that book, do some speaking engagements and consulting projects, bake, spend time with friends and family, go back to school, change careers completely, train my dogs to do tricks, go backpacking, spend time on the water paddling, sleep — I could really use sleep… maybe I’ll do all, some, or none of those things. I really don’t know.

But I’m looking forward to the journey.

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Tina Indalecio

Just putting “fingers to keyboard” when I have time to write about stuff I care about.