This week I learned a valuable lesson and overcame an obstacle that I’d avoided for the past 6 years.
You see I….quit every job I’ve ever had.
And I’m not proud of it.
If I had to open my Pandora’s Box of jobs I’d have a lot.
There was the bank job…the 2nd banking job…the investment job… the insurance job…the other insurance job…and now my current job…
And not the kind of quit where you hand in a nice resignation letter and sit down with the manager.
I’m talking about straight-up get up from your desk, and walk-out in a civil manner. Always in a nice and calm manner, though. I’d say to the authority figures that today is my last day…
I just had always had enough……
And for a while, I didn’t think anything of it.
It wasn’t MY problem. It was clearly the office I worked in!
It was the same story EVERY time I started a job.
I’d put all of my efforts into doing my best and getting promoted.
Then, I would encounter office drama of some kind. Either negative comments or resistance and tension from my peers or managers.
I’m not super aggressive, either. I just always like doing a great job and putting myself out there…
For example, the last job I had, I approached it really slowly. Didn’t think about getting promoted. But, then I started trying really hard again.
And the literal week I started excelling, I noticed my team leader started belittling me.
Making me doubt myself.
The cherry-on-top was when I watched the small team of 3 I was apart of the walk into the manager’s office (which I sat almost in front of) and get on a conference call with the team leader to talk about my work…..
I confirmed before I left that the meeting was about me.
I felt so betrayed and at that point over office life, that I said… “I resign…”
It was a super rainy day in Seattle. And I walked as quickly as I could to the public bus…drenched.
So when you say that you’re having problems at work. I get it.
I’ve been there crying on the phone to my mom after work because of something that went wrong. I’ve lost my emotional security over criticism that I received.
Or, having someone promoted over me for the same position and having to put on a fake smile and applause.
I’ve been there when my mentor who I looked up to didn’t even truly respect me.
These aren’t reasons to be sad either! They are the building blocks of real, solid strength and personality!
There are a million variations of problems in office life. But, I noticed the root of the issue boil down to the same couple of things.
Now that you know my background…
A few days ago……
After being treated in a way that wasn’t on par with my standards. I put my foot down to a co-worker.
Said in a respectful way that the way they behaved is not right. I said I had enough…
I was sent home. (I’d never been sent home before, ever. I’m not disrespectful at all.)
I was informed that the next day I would speak to a manager about the incident.
There it was again…..
That thing that I always wanted to avoid. That I had been terrified of facing.
When the day came, I urge to break free came as well. The morning I was supposed to go to work, I wanted to quit so badly.
But, I thought. This is my chance to break the pattern. To finally soar outside of the cycle I’d been stuck in for 6 years.
I wanted to rise to the challenge.
When I woke up that day. I got a cold sore.
Yes. A cold sore. Under my nose.
I’d always been a nervous kid. And had them since I was at least 6 years old.
But for the past 1.5 years, I hadn’t gotten any cold sores. I thought I’d finally outgrown them.
But there it was. Another obstacle that made quitting look that much better.
But I kept thinking I’ve got to break this pattern. Think about how good this would be for my inner strength.
Well, I made it to work.
And I did sit-down with the manager.
I retold the situation and I faced the co-worker who sent me home.
I felt that I respected myself too much to put up with bad treatment. I had to speak my truth. To make the environment better. Enough was enough.
One thing I didn’t do was let my guard down.
I had to really believe in myself and my abilities. I felt like I couldn’t let them see me sweat.
“I’m not nervous!” …..
The night before, I watched a video of myself talking so I could see exactly how I look and am perceived by others. (Which helped a lot).
I told my mother that I wasn’t nervous at all about sitting down with the manager…but I actually was getting nervous.
After the meeting…
When I officially conquered the obstacle, I felt a sense of accomplishment that I hadn’t felt since I completed a work presentation in front of 50 people 2 years ago.
I felt like I had a made a step-up. Level-up. Or, like I’d conquered that problem and now I can face tougher obstacles in the future.
The moral of the story……
Rise to the challenge. Do you avoid a problem because you’re scared or don’t feel like dealing with it?
You’d rather take the easy way out your pride is at stake. Your ego.
You don’t wanna leave with your tail between your legs. And feel shame.