“I quit.” “You did what?”
“Man, you sure know how to start off the week.”
That was the conversation I had with my best friend yesterday morning after a slightly uncomfortable but much needed meeting with my boss.
At the start of my new job, I was ambitious, excited, and needless to say, filled with energy and enthusiasm. I imagined myself five years down the line, branding the company, producing my own shows, and managing my own team. Less than two months after our soft grand opening that vision of mine began to slowly dissipate.
Before everything went downhill, I was on my grind. Within the first month alone, I was able to put in a 50-hour workweek all while balancing my three freelancing jobs on the side. With only twenty dollars in my savings account, I knew I had to hustle and I had to hustle hard. Once I got the ball rolling, things began to look brighter. Every month, I watched my savings doubled. While I was making money, I tried to budget my spending as much as possible. Pretty soon, I was able to afford the things I never thought I was able to afford. Hustling (if you do it right) will always lead to unprecedented results.
Slowly, I started to notice that the dynamic between my boss and I began to change. She would walk over to my office often and criticize every research, pitch, and treatment I’ve completed for a show. At first, I took her words as a means to improve and grow, but after awhile, I began to feel uneasy.
Some days were doable and other days were just downright awful. I would hear the words "nonchalant" and "incompetent" being tossed casually. Furthermore, her words had a lot to do with her own personal opinions of me rather than the product of my actual merits. "Why are you a Communication major when you can't communicate?" "Do you even do research at USC?" Etc, etc.
Although I am typically good at blocking out these kinds of misguided words, it became apparent to me that there was no real trajectory or future if I do choose to stay with the company. Don’t get me wrong. Well-spoken, highly self-actualized individuals do not intimidate me. They inspire me. My boss, on the other hand, was anything but inspiring. She was a disastrous procrastinator, but luckily for her, she had someone to pick up all of her pieces....aka me.
Two months in and I started to experience a new low. I lost a good amount of weight, broke out, had mood swings, and evidently, experienced a high-level of stress. So what did I end up doing? At the end of month 4, I booked a flight to San Francisco and requested a week off from work.
San Francisco was amazing. It gave me a space to reflect on the situation I was in. I stepped away from my every day routine and challenged myself to think outside the box. Lastly, I came home with a definite answer.
“I’m going to quit,” I said to myself.
That following Monday morning, I walked into my office and saw that my boss completely destroyed my desk space---books, used cups, papers were scattered everywhere. Granted, before I left, I vacuumed the entire office and tidied up my conference room. Welp, there goes that. It was in that very moment that I realized I could no longer wait for change to happen. After a couple of deep breathes, I mustered up the courage to tell her that I no longer see myself as a fit for the company.
She didn’t look too surprised and while she did try to find more horrible things to say, I did my best to avoid countering verbally altogether. Deep down, I knew I was doing the right thing and by giving myself the opportunity to shed all of the lies and unethical truths I’ve been repeatedly hearing, I have finally allowed myself to be free.
I don’t want to approach this situation in an aggressive outspoken manner. For me, this entire first job experience taught me more than I’ll ever know. Although some people may think that I am a quitter, I know very well that this was a decision that took a lot of thinking, discussion, and reevaluation.
Pros about the job:
- It was close to home
- It was close to the gym
- I will make my parents proud and less stressed
- It gave me the flexibility to keep up with my social life and relationship
After writing down the pros and the cons, I learned that no matter how great the pros were, none of these things was worth risking my happiness and self worth.
Initially, I was planning to write this post a couple of months down, ya know... right after I get a new job or something along those lines. However, my thoughts are still raw and I wanted to share this experience with you because it’s important for me to be as honest as possible. I’ve spent years preaching about the importance of staying true to oneself while consistently chasing after calculated risks. This, right here, may very well be the best decision I have made for myself this year. Okay, second best (the first one was when I agreed to date the sweetest guy on this planet).
If there’s one thing I want you to take away from my story, it’s this: your dreams are worth it. Don’t let pre-judgment, condemnation, setbacks and people-pleasing tendencies to pull you back. After all, the second you start believing in yourself and your worth, everything will start to follow through. Trust me, I’d know.