I Quit!

Have you ever watched a child try to shove the square block through the circle hole? You and everyone else can see it isn’t working, but the child won’t stop trying until they burst into tears, throw the block across the room, and give up completely. We want to laugh and say, “saw that coming”. It is clear that the square will never ever fit into the circle hole. No amount of force will magically change the outcome. You may have chuckled but, everyone of us has done that before. We have tried to fit our lives into some type of mold that was never intended for us.

A few months ago, for myself, everything came to a head. I was in a job that simply was not meant for me. I was trying desperately to force it and make it work, but the more I pushed, the more my job started to crumble around me. I am not a quitter, I like to work hard, and I try to be adaptable, but I was clearly the square in this situation and my job was undeniably the circle.

Job change isn’t as easy as ‘quit your job and find a new one and BAM life will be peachy’. There are a lot of factors that go into job change. It is not taken lightly, however, if you have a death grip on your job and yet you also feel like your job has a death grip on you, maybe taking a step back and evaluating your situation is the best thing.

When I took a step back, looked at my job, relationships, and my own health (mental, physical, and emotional). I realized something had to change. I couldn’t afford to quit my job. I couldn’t afford to take the time away I needed to interview and then wait a month for a paycheck. I simply couldn’t afford it, so I thought. I like security and plans. The unknown makes me worry like none other.

Buckets of tears later (my block throwing tantrum moment), with the support of my husband, we decided that I had to leave. I had no plans, opportunities, or ideas of what I was going to do. I was scared.

I interviewed like a mad person. I had 7 interviews in one week and decided that with this next job I was going to look for a place where I not only could survive, but where I could thrive. None of them felt right until the last interview. I found myself unemployed for only 7 days before my first day at my new job. That was obviously a huge blessing.

Many times, we get so caught up in the fear and worries of tomorrow that we allow it to cripple us into staying right where we shouldn’t be. “Don’t worry”, I hate those words. How was I not supposed to worry?! I had bills, medical expenses, and we needed a new car. We weren’t in an ideal position for me to quit. I did it anyways.

You always hear these success stories of people who say they quit their jobs and now they are millionaires *loud cheering crowd*! No, I am not a millionaire but I did study their behavior. Some things that most successful people do are:

  1. Take chances.
  2. Never give up.

I am a huge fan of girlboss.com and Sophia Amoruso who single handedly created her own empire. Sure, she went through bankruptcy and had to rebuild her entire company but she is one of the most successful women entrepreneurs to this day. She even has a Netflix show called ‘Girl Boss’ about her start which I highly recommend watching!

She started a business blindly. Didn’t know how anything was supposed to work, but she took a chance. Some people will look at that and say that she was crazy or foolish but I admire it. She took a chance. She also never gave up. When her business went bankrupt she hit the ground running with new, better ways to rebuild. She had to learn and grow.

I was miserable at my job and that misery was infecting every area of my life. My sweet husband was such a trooper! He loved me through it all. I needed someone to tell me that it was going to be okay and that I needed to take care of myself first. So, if you are in a position that is not your fit or you’re miserable let me tell you something:

“It is okay to put yourself first, it is okay to take a step of courage and change jobs, it is okay to worry a little about finances because it will give you the fire to get another job, it is okay to loosen your death grip on your job, it is okay to quit. ”

I was at a job way longer than I ever should have been because I was so stressed about it not being okay if I left. But at the end of the day what happens with your life was always supposed to happen. You may just be delaying blessings because you are hanging on to a “practical” situation.

You’re Fired.

I posted a photo on my Instagram story with the caption being “I have been completely make up free for a week now because it is a lot cheaper if you would just love yourself”. No, I am not saying that if you wear make up then you don’t love yourself or that you have some major insecurity. I love make up and for everyone who knows me, they know this to be true. Luckily I didn’t get any negative comments towards my post but It really got me thinking about makeup in the work place so I put out a poll on my personal Facebook page asking if you think makeup should be required or optional. To no surprise to me, most people said it should be optional, however I then looked into the professions of the people who voted. Only 8 out of the 46 people over all who voted worked in Corporate America. 5 Out of the 8 that worked in Corporate America voted for makeup to be required. let me break that down: 83.33% of the people who voted for makeup to be required worked in Corporate America, while only 7.5% of people who voted for it to be optional worked in Corporate America. 62.5% of Corporate America workers who responded to my poll voted for makeup to be required. I am sure if I really wanted to do more research I should ask more people than just the few that I am actually friends on Facebook with, but all in all, I found this very intriguing

I did some research on the legalities of requiring make up in the work place. It didn’t take me long to find the law because apparently this is a pretty hot topic. Makeup is lumped into the Dress Code and Grooming Standard clause under the EEOC guidelines.  This clause addresses attire, tattoos, piercings, hygiene, and other various external attributes. It allows employers to set a neat and clean standard of appearance in their place of business. It goes on to state that employers are allowed to require makeup “as long as they bear a reasonable relationship to legitimate business needs and are enforced fairly (between genders and coworkers).” www.twc.state.tx.us

According to Chron.com “Employers can legally require women to wear makeup as part of an established dress code; they can impose such restrictions on female employees while not burdening male employees at a similar level. While some plaintiffs have tried to show that requiring women to wear makeup takes more time and costs more money, thus being a greater burden on women than men, these arguments have not proven successful as of the date of publication.”

Do you know how much I pay for foundation? $52! Yep… Even if I were to use my drug store foundation, it is still $12 just for the foundation. My makeup bag alone has over $250 worth of makeup in it and that’s not all high end items. In fact, most of it is drug store. Poeple.com predicted “that a woman spends $15,000 on beauty products in her lifetime.” Even that number seams very low to me. If you calculate that out from 22 years old to 65 years old (start to retirement) that comes out to only $41.67 per month. maybe if I wore only mascara and lipstick, sure.

Did you know that you can get passed up for a promotion or even demoted if you don’t comply with the Dress Code and Grooming Standard? Passed up, demoted, or fired… over make up?! Under the Correction Action Process this is how your boss can legally fire you for any act that violates dress code including makeup:

  1. oral and written warnings;
  2. probation;
  3. suspension with or without pay;
  4. disciplinary pay cuts;
  5. demotion or reassignment;
  6. final warning; and
  7. discharge.

www.twc.state.tx.us

What do you think? Support it or not?

 

Stair Stepper Jobs

How important are those “stair stepper” jobs? These are the types of jobs that definitely are not your ideal career opportunists, but simply the fillers between school and your big dream. They are the summer internships, holiday helping hands, varying 4 hour shift jobs where the boss never seams to remember your schedule and constantly puts you at the wrong time causing you to scurry and get someone to trade shifts with because you have school and though you have handed your boss a color coded hourly availability document still… no change. (Can you tell I am still just a little salty towards those type of bosses?)

I spent an enormous amount of my time working in the child care industry. I never wanted to be a teacher and although I love children, it so was not a passion of mine to have a career involving any type of child care. My childhood best friend wanted to be a teacher and I used to tell her all the time that teachers have a very special calling on their lives but that simply was not mine. However, as crazy as it seams, we make some of the easiest jobs to get with child care so I found myself summer after summer convincing myself that I would enjoy it. Every summer I found myself begging for it to be over.

I then found myself stuck in a place where all my work experience was in the one area that I wanted to stay away from the most. At 19 Years old I decided to blaze my own trail. It was hard to get a job where I could make money to be on my own because I had absolutely no experience. I wanted it so badly but it simple wasn’t going to happen. I decided to take a job at the YMCA and man the front desk. That was my break through job. Sure it was easy and I didn’t do a lot of office work but when I put it on my resume, suddenly other better paying positions were interested in me because I had experience (If you call eating Cheetos at the desk while everyone else worked out “experience” then I’ll take it).

Your first jobs matter. The work you do matters, your work ethic matters, and your promotions matter. Even if you are just making copies and filing. All of it matters. Every time I applied for a job I always tried to apply for a position that was 20% above where I was currently at. That didn’t always mean more pay. Sometimes it meant more responsibilities for a more diverse resume or more of a professional environment so that I never stayed in the same level. At 19 years old I would never have applied for the position I have now but I kept pushing myself harder and harder which gave me confidence. Simply put, I wouldn’t be where I am without the YMCA. It gave me the tools, the confidence, and the spot on my resume that I needed to push me forward.

Last week I ran up the TCU stadium stairs for a work out and man did it suck! But sometimes our careers can feel like those stadium steps. You look forward to where you want to be, and it seams so far away and looks painful to get to. Sometimes your mind will trick you and tell you that you don’t need to do the steps in order to get a good work out, that there must be another way, a short cut. As you look around you realize that there is no short cut, no elevator, no conveyor belt, just the stairs. You have all of these thoughts running through your head “how long is this going to take, how much pain will I be in tomorrow, is it worth it, and can I even make to the top?” I’m not saying everything will be dandy. You’ll sweat, cramp, get winded, maybe even take a breather, but you’ll get there.

Education does help. However, I know people with masters in their field of study but because they simply have no other experience besides their studies, companies won’t hire them. In many cases, when they found a job, they were hired on with the bachelor degree level employees which is still great, but they could have been even hire if they had a few jobs on their resumes.

Stair stepper jobs are getting you to your goal, no matter where you are in your career, they matter, so make them count.

 

 

Photography By Naomi Ledford Photography

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