After my work permit application had been approved, I had to put on a brave face and inform my employer about my decision. According to my work contract, there was a notice period of six months – which gave me enough time (and occasion) to close running projects and say good-bye to my longtime colleagues.
During my whole professional career I had never before composed a notice letter, and it didn’t come naturally. Quitting your job after more than a decade, and quitting a job which you enjoy, which provides opportunities to develop yourself, which is well payed and secure, and which is characterized by many amazing colleagues, is not an easy thing to do. Sure, the decision had already been made weeks ago, but an official notice somehow puts a more formal (and in some way final) sense to it.
The actual notice meeting with both of my managers proved to be even more difficult than finding words in writing. It somehow felt strange to face them with the surprising facts; at the same time it felt good to know, that there’s no negative reasons for terminating my contract. Accordingly, their reactions were rather positive, understanding and supportive.
After a couple more days had passed (and HR also received my notice), it was time to inform my close colleagues. None of them knew, and one after another I brought them into the loop. Again, after some initial surprise I was mostly confronted with appreciation and everyone was conveying a sense of support in a way that I had made the correct decision. Well-behaved colleagues!
Because I had more than 50 days of residual leave left (plus two business trips of ten days each), my actual time in office until end of September was quite limited. In July I sent out a well-prepared and detailed farewell email to everyone I had been working with during the past decade, in one way or another; which then caused difficulties organizing my lunch and coffee break appointments for the remaining days.
Finally, the last informal act was a little farewell party in office, during which I saw most of my colleagues the last time. A very weird feeling. So many years shared in one company. Many colleagues I’d known for more than ten years, and many of which I’d been closely collaborating with ever since. And suddenly you’re leaving the familiar circles, the nest warmth, the known structures, the loved-and-hated processes. You start realizing already that you’ll miss the casual office talks, the early morning pre-work runs through the woods, common projects and business trips, training classes, team events.
But well, that’s what farewells have in common, I suppose: The closer they get, the harder you stick to what you’re used to. Contacts with good colleagues and friends won’t disappear, and I guess in Canada I’ll met friendly humans, too.
Last formal act on my last day in Walldorf: Returning my beloved company car, my phone, MacBook, countless additional equipment. And here I was – no computer, no vehicle, no cell phone. I still had my job, though, since the employment won’t be terminated before end of September; my relocation to Canada would start ten days before that.