Understanding and Fighting Jealousy When an Employee Leaves to Travel the World
A few weeks ago one of the employees on my marketing team put in his notice. He had been with the company for over two years and was a stellar team member who always put in over 100% every day and helped the marketing team grow as we took on new projects.
As I sat there in the meeting room with him hearing him thank me for the past two years, I let the news sink in with a heavy heart. This was completely unexpected – well until I got the email from him saying he needed to meet without any reference as to what about; you aren’t a manager for as long as I have been without learning to know when someone’s about to resign.
“Do you have another opportunity?” I asked, preparing to fight for him to stay.
“No,” he said. “I’m going to travel for the rest of the year.”
With that, a sense of relief came over me. A little bit due to the fact that it’s always easier to lose a team member to an opportunity that’s not another company, but mostly relief for him that he was doing this before it was too late. And happiness.
I knew I should be disappointed, angry, anxious about what this news meant. More work for my team and the tedious process of finding a replacement, but instead I felt elated for him. How could I feel any ounce of annoyance when he was doing exactly what I’ve dreamed of doing for years?
He was just 25. This was exactly what he should be doing. Before he hits 30 and life and responsibilities begins to stack up so rapidly he can’t quite comprehend how it all happened; how this is your life.
So I told him just that and wished him the best.
And tried to get through the rest of the day without pitying myself too much that it wasn’t me.
The pity party couldn’t be helped even while I knew it was a bit unwarranted. After all, I know I’m in the right place in my life right now for what I’m trying to accomplish and I wouldn’t necessarily want to just give it all up to travel around the world (at the moment anyway), yet I still get insanely jealous when I hear of other people doing so. I just can’t help it.
Do you ever wish you could just throw in the towel and walk away from your daily responsibilities? How do you deal with round the world envy wen you hear of other people taking big trips you’ve always wanted to do?