I left my job of 15 months. As of today, I am no longer a full-time employee.
The problem with being a blogger is that not much can be kept private, especially big life changes such as these. I put in my notice a month ago, and since then I've been contemplating how I'm going to explain the situation on here. It was hard enough telling my co-workers, family members, both California & Michigan friends.
In this economy -- that's the term of the century, in this economy -- you're expected to be happy just to have a job. You're supposed to shut the hell up and stop complaining because people across the country are struggling to find work. You're seen as selfish if you aren't satisfied and want more out of your career life.
On paper, it looked good. I was making enough to pay the bills and then some. I had full health benefits and vacation time. I worked an afternoon shift that allowed me to sleep in. I met some of the richest and most famous names in Hollywood. I worked down the road from where I lived so traffic was nearly nonexistent.
On the inside, however, I was hurting. I didn't have an interest in what I was doing and forcing enthusiasm into something I felt nothing for was draining. I was at the same company for over a year without a raise or promotion. I was reprimanded for small details while big accomplishments were overlooked. I was working 8-hour shifts without a break most days. I felt unappreciated, disrespected by management. Most of all, my skills and talents and passions weren't being used.
It wasn't what I had planned for my future back in college. I hadn't gotten a degree for this; I hadn't put in hundreds of hours at unpaid internships for this; I hadn't moved to Los Angeles for this. It wasn't what I wanted for my life.
Although certain co-workers betrayed or insulted me, I also met some wonderful people who kept me going, who encouraged and motivated me with positive energy -- such as the one who drove me to the hospital after my car accident and generally stood by me during that dark time; and the one who took me out to dinner after I said I was quitting, making me laugh and letting me cry and being a great person and friend. My team was generally a good, supportive group of people.
But by the time you read this sentence, someone I worked with has probably already shown this to my former boss, perhaps even the president of the company. And you know what? I'm okay with that. My only hope is that I've planted a seed that will soon grow into positive changes that should be made at my former workplace.
I know your comment, dear reader, will include some form of the question what will you do now? As you may already know, I've been working at Ann Taylor for years, first alongside my college classes and then my full-time job; I'll be increasing my hours there. I'll also be blogging more than ever! And, I am fortunate to already have an interview for something new -- we'll see how that goes.
I'll leave you with this quote from SELF magazine. I flipped to it in the March issue and I feel like it was written straight to me:
"Take the reins. Think about what makes you happiest -- the one thing guaranteed to get your heart racing and a big grin spread across your face. Got it? Good. Now do that thing. Yes, today. Taking control of your life is about knowing what you want and going after it without hesitation. You don't need permission. You just need to know you deserve to be happy."