I am 40 and married with two children. I held a position as a team lead for ten years with a fantastic company that is filled with some of the best people I have ever worked with - both professionally and personally.
I have been seeking an increase in responsibility and new challenges at work as I felt that things had been starting to get a bit stale. The company is growing quickly with budget approved for big increases in head count. I was assured that these changes would become available in February of this year. In March, I found that this might not happen immediately, and at around the same time, a recruiter got in touch and got me talking to another company who subsequently offered me a job which I accepted very quickly, without performing full due diligence on the company, product or people. Having accepted, I resigned my current job
Since then, I have had panic attacks and continuous anxiety, culminating in flashes of depression and continuous pain in my stomach. I haven't slept properly and have now found that my wife is pregnant again with a much desired third child. I do not believe in the new company, despite the fact that they have offered me a title that I have long fancied. The money is better, but is not a major motivator for me. I feel like I have made a horrible mistake and don't feel I will be able to fully commit to the new job with such strong misgivings about both the role and the timing. The new role will require a lot of travel that will take me away from my family, and my family is the most important thing in my life.
I don't know if I can still unravel the muddle I have gotten myself into, or if I should. If I do, I will probably have lost credibility in the eyes of two companies, but the thought of doing so is the only thing that gives me relief from the anxiety I have been feeling. I don't know what to do, and my wife is sick of listening to me telling her I have made a mistake.
My current manager has indicated that it is not too late to change my mind and stay, but having read through the various pieces of advice here, I said that while I am not sure if I am moving to the correct company or whether that will work out, there are still two main reasons why I would consider leaving (essentially my role is squeezed between two people more senior than both of us, leaving little scope for autonomy). He told me he also felt squeezed, and that while he would love to change it, he cannot and the prospect of real change on that front is limited.
I would dearly love the input of someone who doesn't have 'skin in this game' so to speak. My questions for others are:
1) How do you dis-entangle the perfectly natural 'fear of change' stemming from changing jobs from possibly valid concerns about the company you are moving to?
2) How do you cope when the pace of change in your life starts to far exceed your comfort level? I think I was feeling pretty positive about everything up until I found my wife was pregnant, then I started to second guess myself about the timing.
3) How do you balance your need for greater work-stimulation and autonomy against the comfort and stability of a job you can do comfortably, with colleagues who you like and admire? When is it okay to decide that further career advancement is not a current priority and focusing on your family is better for the time being?
4) How do you deal with the last few weeks in your old job before the change when your friends and colleagues are telling you how much they appreciate you and will miss you, to the point where you are wondering why you wanted to leave?
5) How do you decide to retract your resignation? I believe that unless I can clearly understand and articulate the reasons for my resignation, and then can be assured that these reasons will change, then retracting my resignation will just rob me of credibility and negotiating power.
Edit: After reading lots of the advice here, and talking it over with various friends (as recommended by kind strangers here), that while I may have fears about whether I am moving to the right company, and I may have fears about introducing such changes into my family's life when it is about to undergo profound change anyway, I need to focus on the reasons why I decided to leave in the first place. The only reason to retract my resignation would be if those reasons were to change (and a discussion with my current manager pretty much confirmed that they would not, at least in the short term). The timing is terrible, but if I were to retract now, I would come into work on monday and nothing would have changed from when I first started to think seriously about leaving.