I got in touch with myself last fall. Not quite as woo-woo as you might think. All I did was be honest with myself. I wasn’t happy in my job. I knew that. The so-called daily grind was truly taking its toll.

I had been with that work unit since May 2002 and in the manager position since October 2004. If you’re counting as of November 2017, that’s 15 years 6 months in that office, and 13 years 1 month in that one position.

But in being honest with myself, I set myself on a path that would change everything about what I was doing. So what happened? I received my pension statement in the mail. The statement outlines the earliest retirement date: 9 years away. Nine more years of being…a manager. That was my moment. I didn’t want to be a manager that long.

I know that no job is perfect and that moving to another job means acquiring different problems or challenges, and yet the appeal was there. I weighed pros and cons, and came to only one conclusion. I had nothing to lose if I didn’t try. Having made the decision, I only had to find a job. Things went so quickly from there. A job was posted, I was shortlisted, tested, interviewed and I was hired. From start to finish the hiring process was 6 weeks. But it would take another 4 weeks before I started the new position, which was March 12. I make more money. I have no management duties. And I’m continuing with subject matter that I already know. It’s about as good as it gets.

Last week was about decompression. My new position has no overtime expectations, no responding to emails after hours—for the first time in years I didn’t have stress and I had my time back. Let me be clear, starting the new job wasn’t stressful at all, it was a relief.

I don’t know if it will always be so. But for now, it’s just what I need.