A long-ish reflection on psychological attachment styles: how they affect my decision making process about whether to stay or move on from a particular job.

When is it time to move on?

Anybody who's read my resume knows I have a tendency to wander between jobs. There are some places I've stayed a long time, and others I didn't last more than a few months. Some places I had to leave because they were closing up shop (the fun of startups). A few because I was collateral damage from a leadership shake up or change in direction.

But, interestingly, more than half of the time I left because I felt like I couldn't make a big enough difference any more.

My patience had worn out for people to grasp the picture that I was drawing.

I'm wondering, though -- could it have been as simple as Dismissive Avoidant Attachment style? When I was in therapy a couple years ago, I learned that, while I was secure in my attachment style in that moment, the path I had walked before that was dismissive avoidant. When things got hard I walked away.

But now that I'm "secure," so to speak, I still feel those urges when things get stressful. Perhaps it's a vestige of the past surging forth to protect me from difficulty. It's hard to tell.

Regardless, I am realizing that so much of my experiences and learning came about precisely because I wasn't content with keeping things the way they were. Not just because of my empathy for others whose suffering I can so plainly see, but also my sensitivity to my own anxiety. My "dismissive avoidant" style turned into a super power that prepared me to be able to offer skills and knowledge that hardly anybody else had.

At the end of it, I suppose for me it all comes down to, "Where can I make the most difference right now?" Definitely not the answer that everybody comes up with, but that's fine. We can't all be the same!

tags: humanity