I quit!

I believe the last time I posted in this space, I mentioned how I was very excited for a not yet named job. Well it turned out I got that job. It was presented as a very exciting opportunity to potentially make a big difference and create change at a local company.

I was thrilled.

It sounded exactly like the kind of professional first step I needed to get a corporate career going. Sure, the pay was a little low, but over time with growth, change and proving myself I was confident I would make more money.

Then I started to get to work. The first day I felt hesitation.

The corporate environment was not welcoming. I had some idea of what I was getting into, and I’m no stranger to hostile spaces. So I went about my business as politely and professionally as possible choosing to “kill them with kindness” with Phil Dunphy-like results. I even baked cookies! (Admittedly that may have been over doing it a bit.)

Over the following weeks the constant barrage of personal attacks, passive-aggressive behavior and lack of support started to wear me down. Actually it did more than that it sent me into a depression. I’ve spent the past several weeks essentially going into work doing my best not to be noticed by anyone and trying hard not to say or do anything that will upset someone. That has also proved impossible.

My other life activities like hanging out with friends, writing and baking have all but ceased. I only see my boyfriend at bed time. I only see my friends at Sunday coffee. I’ve been to the doctor for illnesses that surely would not have taken me down so hard if I were in a better mental state.

Then in a strange moment of clarity between the black out and the coming to, it hit me. I’m unhappy, and this isn’t the life I want.

So when I went to work the next day, I quit.

Maybe I’m not cut out for the corporate world. Maybe I’m just not a good fit at this company, certainly my personal morals and the company culture have clashed several times each day.

While I’m relieved to finally put the final sentence on this brief chapter (paragraph?), it does make me anxious about the future.

I’m starting to feel too old for entry-level. I’m unable to get a job that pays more than waiting tables regardless of the level of education and skill required. And honestly, for the lack of responsibility and flexible hours restaurant work is a little more my steady-income thing.

I’ve thought long and hard about quitting. What it means to me, what it means about the way I think of myself as “go-getter, a get things done girl, an ass-kicker” maybe I’m not really those things. Or I was, and now I’m not. I’ve thought about what it means for my personal and professional relationships. I’ve thought about the ways to spin this experience as a “positive” to future employers and even myself. I’ve thought about my work and what I’ve done here.

I’ve concluded that the best thing for me is to go. I’m giving up. I’m done. I’m out the door. And while the pressure feels lighter, the money is much tighter.

I’ve been broke before, and I’m going to be broke again. I’m terrified of what this new chapter will mean. I’m getting tired of these changes, it’s starting to feel like a never-ending cycle of failure. Sure, I learn things about myself with each of these terrible jobs, but it would be nice for something to stick.

I know I want to write, I want to work with people who are nice, helpful and friendly. I want to work in an environment where it’s okay to have a puppy and cake in the same room. I want to be surrounded by creative, intelligent people who are proud of their work. I want an employer who believes happy employees are the best employees and actually pays a fair wage. But even that feels like I’m dreaming too big now.

I’ll do something next. (There isn’t enough TV to fill up all the free time I’m going to have here in a minute.) I just don’t know yet what it is.

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4 thoughts on “I quit!

  1. I feel your pain! Please don’t lose hope. The fact is that the world is full of miserable people who enjoy inflicting pain on others. I’ve worked with oxygen thieves before, and they really do flatten your spirit. It’s not your fault.
    The world also contains plenty of good people; those who want to lift you up with them because they realise the value of happy workmates who are loyal because they’re treated well. Your job now is to hunt. Seek them out. Follow your instincts.

    It seems to me you have the start of a ‘What I require of an employer’ list here.
    You could also create a list of questions you can ask a prospective employer at interview:
    Social events organised/endorsed by work; what work/life balance means to them; employee success stories that make them proud [either work or non-work related]; how they ‘give back’ to the local community; their definition of a successful employee [if they say they want someone to fill a post and do the job and not make noise – RUN! If they say they expect you to develop beyond the advertised role and encourage promotions from within – you may have hit the goldmine]

    As to entry level positions, if you’re new to the job and that’s the way in then age is irrelevant. From now on, you won’t even be in an interview where you don’t believe in the employer. If you find a company you’re in synch with, then how could you fail to be an asset to them?

    Good luck.
    PS. I’m in Australia so you may have to change your approach depending on where you’re from. Also, the employer questions are too blunt to use in their present form, but you get the idea. Job interviews are really a two-sided affair. You’re entitled to know what you’re getting into.

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