David & Goliath: Handling Big Bullies

Although the economy is tough, you shouldn’t feel forced to work for bully workplaces.

A job is like a marriage. You invest time and energy to make it work, but sometimes our partner isn’t on the same page. Sometimes in bad relationships, no matter how hard we try to rectify a situation, our partner insists that (s)he will not change. In fact, some of our partners go as far as cause emotional, physical, or mental harm. That’s when you should ask yourself if the relationship adds to you, or takes from you. In my most recent experience the company took from me more than I was comfortable with.

Somewhere between 2008 and 2012 I became a prisoner in a work environment that offered no motivation, growth, or even team comradery.  The money was great. I started in 2008 with a salary of $47,000 and by 2010 I earned $64,000. My work spoke for itself and I quickly became an asset to my managers. At the early stages, I was known for my bubbly personality, willing to chip in and be a team player. But incompetent managers, barely qualified directors and human resource specialists, all lead to my demise. I felt as if I was auditioning for a stand in role of the not so humorous comedy The Three Stooges.

As mentioned in my previous blog, Confessions of a RebelI decided to leave the company as a leap of faith. What I didn’t mention was I left the company well before I resigned. My body was there, but my mind and heart were other places. I’d often dream of being in a civilized environment where managers knew how to manage and the company supported employee morale.  I am no different of a breed than you or anyone else. I just buck at the thought of being held captive. As I mentioned to you before I don’t think in boxes, so I don’t live in boxes. The boldness of my determination, creativity and imagination often lead to surprising decisions; especially when a relationship strips me of almost everything I have to offer.

To make a long story short, a lot has changed since my last confession. I stopped applying to jobs altogether and I finally began to adjust to a simpler life. I’ve been free for nearly a month and I’ve gained most of what was stripped from me. I can recognize myself again – an invaluable accomplishment.

The most amazing thing happened last Monday. As I sat at the computer designing bookmarks for my novel, I received a phone call from American University. As background information, I’ve been applying to American University for nearly a year. It’s a school that I’d be proud to work for, and it would also offer me the opportunity to attend their amazing Master’s program for free. They match retirement by 200% and they also offer the ability to work with students. If you know my history, you know that as a former educator, I love working with students.

So anyway, they called and asked if I would be available for a phone interview. Not really taking the interview seriously, I told them I would. Needless to say, I bombed that phone interview. I was asked questions that were too high level for the position and I didn’t know how to respond. After getting off the phone I called my mother (who is like my best friend sometimes) and told her that I bombed the interview. She offered up encouraging words “If it’s for you, it will happen.” That’s all she had to say to remind me that I was living by faith. The next day, American University called me and offered an in-person interview for the following Monday.

After a very long weekend, I felt sluggish about the interview. In fact, I didn’t even care to shave my legs or apply a fresh coat of nail polish before meeting the panel of four, that later included the director.

The interview went okay, but I was more comforted by their motto “we have fun, and want someone who can contribute to our awesome family dynamic.”  Funny, that’s the very thing I yearned for in my previous employer. Furthermore, it’s the very thing I yearn for in my next employer. Needless to say, the day after my interview they offered me a job and I start Monday!

The beauty in this is that I’m not a slave to titles, or even flashy bank accounts like I was before. I’ve gained a new sense of living. I’d rather be in a FUN and encouraging environment for 8 hours a day, and making half of my old salary.

Walking by faith for the past month has allowed me to humble myself in the sight of the Lord. In turn, he’s allowed me to keep that measly savings that I told you about in Confessions of a Rebel. And although I welcomed the idea of living with my future mother-in-law, I don’t have to anymore. We can stay in our luxurious apartment while we wait to hear back from our lender on our home. And furthermore, God rewarded me by giving me a position that offers a peace of mind. The amazing thing about this story is that I applied to American University BEFORE I resigned from my company. A testament to always lay a sturdy foundation.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been a reflection of my future self. In case you’re wondering, it means I’ve lived in accordance to the woman that I want to become. As mentioned in last month’s Confessions of a Rebel  my world changed when I made the decision to leave my incredibly ridiculous company with incredibly ridiculous managers. In that blog, you noticed I struggled with what comes next.  Today, I’m updating you on my status and I hope it encourages you to evaluate your situation, whatever that may be.

Darkness surrounded me but bright light soon fell upon me. That’s what I knew when I made my decision to leave my company. I was called crazy for holding on to a dream that only I understood, but I held on tight in order to move forward. Life is way too short to be held back by fear, or even uncertainty. The decisions I’ve made have definitely shown my future self that I have risen. I’m sure she’s proud as she looks back at me.

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