The grass is always green

There are different shades of green but green nonetheless. “Why’d you go back to your old job” is the question I get asked most often, “I guess the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, huh?” said with a grin.

I find this question or reasoning quite false.

Grass is always a shade of green when you leave. What shade depends on your interpretation. Why is it green? Because you’re optimistic about the new opportunity, new company, new challenges, role, people, etc… It’s a new beginning to a chapter that’s ended. It’s a bright, healthy, energetic green.

So what color should it be should you decide to go back to your previous employer? Red for caution or embarrassment?

As Lebron would say, ‘I took my talents to’ 3 different places before returning.

The first place – wasn’t the right fit. What was discussed during the interview process and what the role ended up being was different. I didn’t have a job description either which is my fault (should always ask for one)

The second place – was aligned with skills I personally wanted to gain. The job wasn’t as technical as I wanted but it strengthened many skills I knew weren’t my strong points and I felt the move was worth the risk. It also allowed me to challenge myself in a different way and (in technical terms) go to battle against more senior employees who thought the way they did things was always correct and efficient. It wasn’t. They presented new policy and documentation changes at will. I wasn’t always right and my way wasn’t always efficient either but I was open to learning why my way wasn’t correct and improving on it.

The final resting stop before my return. It got me back into being super technical and solving complex issues – from system issues to managing customer expectations of a tool and providing a training opportunity for my customers. I learned quite a bit here in terms of technical skills, mainly Unix and SQL and although rights given weren’t the same as admin, I didn’t need them to do my job successfully. What made it better was the various complex issues – trying to figure out how to solve them. What made it bad was the various complex issues – mainly system issues that halted the system for the customers and ourselves.

So in terms of color, the First place was more like yellow / brown – dried / dead grass, not real healthy. My friends noticed changes to my personality while I was working here and not in a good way either. Few people still bring that up from time to time. ‘You were a bit of an a-hole, you WERE NOT HAPPY!’

Second and Third were various shades of green – at times a fully healthy green, other times slightly lighter. I knew my long term goals would not have been met at the Second and Third place – they were discussed with management multiple times. But I do appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills, meet some interesting, brilliant and some not-so interesting and not-so brilliant people.

Then it was time to look into returning to Cleveland, uhhh I mean to my former employer. The grass seemed more of a lighter shade of green when I started contemplating if I should return or not. I was questioning if this is the right move, I’ve never been the one to look back. I always look forward to the next experience, so why am I looking back now?

In my opinion, the time was right. I have gained a lot of experience in various areas, some of which I can leverage in my new role.

The opportunity and role are new and exciting. The potential is huge. When I started thinking of what my long term goals are professionally and what I’d like to see happen in the next few years in this position, I started to get more vested mentally, I started to picture myself growing again in this role (and the grass became greener).

It’s still too early to say what color or shade the grass will be in the next few months and years to come but right now it’s a healthy green, steadily growing and strong.

So long story short, the grass is always green, at least the way I interpreted it.

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