Accepted new position, now feeling guilty


Back in October when I took my extended vacation I took time and came to the realization that even though I had a perfectly fine job, with significantly reduced stress, lower cost of living and decent benefits I wasn't happy and there was nothing that could change that would make me happy. I applied for a new job that would allow me to return to the area where I lived until mid-2018. That is where I had come to realize that I wanted to live long term and where I wanted to retire. Long story short after several months of the application process I was tentatively offered the job in early January. It has taken roughly a month but it appears that we have reached an agreement on contract terms and once their board approves the contract and both parties sign I will need to submit my resignation to my current employer. Now that it looks like things are actually going to happen and I will be moving and starting a new job in early April I feel guilty that I am planning to leave my current employer. The people I work with are decent people, where I live is an okay rural community it just for me causes me to many issues. This community is so very similar to the community where I grew up that at times it triggers flashbacks and triggers other ptsd symptoms. I know that probably sounds silly and when I moved here I really thought that I was still overreacting but even the first time I drove in to town for the job interview it triggered me so badly that I had a panic attack as I was driving around.

Am I silly to feel guilty? The new job is a significant increase in pay, a reduction in responsibilities but retaining the same title, is in the area where I know I want to live long term and retire so why do I feel so bad about leaving this job?


so why do I feel so bad about leaving this job?
I have some pretty deep issues around abandoning people, loyalty, & control. So whilst I can’t speak as to why you feel guilty? Every time I leave a job, I get flooded with old/misplaced/out of context guilt. So I have to remind myself very firmly, and often repeatedly:

- (Peacetime Rules) You can only abandon kids and pets. Everyone else can take care of themselves. They might not want to, but they can.

- I do NOT think so little of you, and so much of myself, that I believe you won’t be able to make it without me.

Don’t know if either helps, or is completely wide of the mark, it’s just what I do.


Am I silly to feel guilty?
I wouldn't say "silly". But this really might not be a situation where feeling guilty is called for.

I love @Friday 's line about how you can only abandon kids and pets.

Really, no matter how nice they are, these people are not your responsibility. They had other employees before you and there will be more further on down the road. The job sounds great and there's absolutely nothing wrong with deciding that you want to live some particular place. You DESERVE to be happy. (Sometimes it's tempting to feel guilty when something goes our way, if we don't actually think we deserve it.)


You can only abandon kids and pets. Everyone else can take care of themselves.
This is an excellent point and I will try to remember it but I still feel guilty probably because I know everyone here expected me to stay as long as my predecessor which was over a decade.
You DESERVE to be happy
This I struggle with, logically I understand this but so many times I have been told I was worthless and really didn't deserve to exist so happy is a real stretch to believe.
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I don't think it's silly

In my experience that kind of response can connect to where you come from

I was groomed to have guilt and/or shame feelings when I said no (created a boundary) put my needs before someone elses (acknowledging needs and right to meet them) have abandonment feelings triggered
I can still feel echoes of this conditioning when making decisions at times
Wondering if something like this is at play?


And yes, I understand feeling some awkwardness around it. I think many people would but would then just make the decision that's right for them without too many difficult feelings

Also Congratulations on being in that position:)


New Here
Heyy, leaving a place or people is always going to be some what sad. It's a change and humans generally like routine and familiarity. So in my oppinion in any situation change is always trouble some and triggers uncomfortable feelings.

However from what you've said the pros of your new job and new place bring so many great beginnings and great things for you that will benefit your happiness and health.

Your health and happiness is always more important.

And if people care about you, they will be happy for you and encourage you to do what's best for you.

Good luck with everything

Nothing wrong with improving your life by changing jobs, it's natural. Everyone else would do it if they got the chance.


Also Congratulations on being in that position
Thank you, it also feels weird because the last time I left a job for a better job was nearly 30 years ago. Since then I have either left a job because I could no longer work there (like my last job had become so toxic my P-doc wouldn't sign off on me return from short term disability), lost my job due to too many absences or lost my job due to corporate downsizing.
Your health and happiness is always more important.
I want to believe this but my cognitive distortions start screaming really loud when I read this let alone think it might be about me.


You've probably made some close acquaintances that make it hard to leave. But people change jobs all the time. It's a better environment emotionally, but there will be some relationships in the rural area that you'll likely miss. It's normal and okay to feel a bit guilty, but stick to your guns, leave on good terms and look forward to new relationships. With social media and cell phones, you could keep the current relationships going, if you wish. Congrats and good luck! Prayers for peace about your decision.


You've probably made some close acquaintances that make it hard to leave.
The thing is I really haven't made any close acquaintances. . It is one reason why when I was on the extended vacation that I began considering whether I was okay living where I am or if I really wanted to return to the area where I lived formerly.


So much has happened in a month. What I thought was going to be a great new job opportunity turned into two months or painful employment agreement negotiation with them expecting me to compromise on every issue and the other side not giving an inch on any issue and I just couldn't continue to live with the uncertainty, the chance my current employer would discover I was negotiating for a new job and terminate me and the new job wouldn't have worked out I would have nothing. Now I am just terrified I made the wrong decision.