KEEPING IT REAL WITH YOURSELF
I've never been in a serious romantic relationship. I don't have time. I am the type of person who would rather work on me and my goals than worry about a man. If it happens, it happens. But in the meantime, my career is the love of my life. I had a rough start at first though. I fell in love and broke up with multiple jobs until one day I came to the conclusion that a 9-5 was not for me. The thing is, I blamed everybody else but my self for my failures with jobs until one day, I realized the only common thread here was me.
So Queens, today we are going to be speaking about that last B of Phorbe, Best You. In order to reach the best version of you, you first have to be honest with yourself and take a good look at what you're doing to cause negative actions in your life. As they say in the award wining musical Hamilton all the time: "Every action has it's equal opposite reaction."
Today, I"m going to break down my relationships with different employers, how each went down hill, and the part I played in it. It really took me a long time to come to this mature conclusion, up until now it's been they did this, they did that, and I'm the victim. But really, if I take a look back, I could have handle each situation better.
Up until I graduated from college, my work life was great. I started working at the age of fourteen, so I knew how to hustle. I prided myself on being a great candidate for any job I applied for and it showed as I was always hired on the spot or given the unofficial "I want you" at the end of my interviews.
Finding a job after graduation was difficult. I was looking for administrative assistant position. Sidenote: An administrative assistant is quite frankly one of the most important roles in every company. A lot of admins don't get enough credit for everything that they do. They are the glue that holds the company together and helps it run. Without admins, everyone including the CEO would be lost on the daily, trying to figure out what to do with themselves.
When I got into the real world, I found that it was hard to find a position for three reasons: 1. My resume is actually overwhelming. While I stayed busy throughout high school and college working two to three part time jobs while holding multiple leadership positions and still maintaining a high GPA, all of that was too much to digest in one single sided sheet of paper. Employers either thought I was over qualified or to ambitious to be an admin. 2. I didn't have enough experience. Although I worked for Susan for four years, employers didn't regard my position at Chapman highly because it was a part time position that took the back seat to my education. 3. I am actually too ambitious for a regular schmegular job. I went into interviews knowing that I only need the job for three to four years and it showed. Employers want someone who they can train and groom to be with their slave for life. Not someone who will take the knowledge they offer them and make a better life for themselves with it somewhere else.
One day, I applied and interviewed for a temp agency and from that day on, I made it my mission to be such a good temp that a job would hire me on full time. I knew once I got my foot in the door everything would change. Boy was I both wrong and right at the same damn time.
Position 1: Organ Donator
Job Title: Administrative Assistant, 4 months
Job Specs: Top organ donation company in the field, the opportunity to work on a multi million dollar campaign with a very high chance of getting hired on permanently. Perks included close proximity to where I lived, company phone and laptop, $15/an hour with great benefits and work life balance.
The Fallout: It all started when the woman who hired me was fired the day I started. This automatically put me in a competition for another woman who began working on the campaign the same day I did. I lost and after the campaign was completed for the year, my position ended.
My part in the mess: There was never really any competition. The other person had been with the company longer, had a better relationship with our manager, and was given way more responsibilities while I was left with her scraps. This was fine and I did my best to turn those scraps into a masterpiece.
Yet, I could have taken more initiative and stepped up more instead of waiting to be told what to do. I started doing this towards the middle of my time there, however by that time it was already too late.
On the flip side, this other woman wasn't playing fairly. She began to openly criticize every move I made and even had conversations with my boss that ended up effecting my money. Overtime, I let this get to me and began to openly respond to her in a negative way. I could have come back from being to shy at first to take initiative, but when I began taking the other's woman's bait, I basically signed my own pink slip (even though I wasn't fired, I just wasn't hired on when the initial length of my temporary employment was completed).
1. A close mouth won't get fed- I never really voiced how much I loved my position and wanted to stay on with the company. People can't read minds. If you don't speak up and let people know what you want, you will never get anywhere.
2. Hit the ground running and go after what you want with full force from the very beginning - Even if I was too shy to say it up front, I could have showed how much I wanted the position by taking the initiative and volunteering for more duties and opportunities. Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone. If you want something go after it with everything you got without fear.
3. Don't take things personally in the work place - When you're in an office with a team of people, you no longer matter. It's a team effort and unless you're identity is being attacked or you are being harmed physically, you can't let small stuff people do or say effect they way you perform or the team's energy.
Position 2: Real Estate Manager
Job Title: Real Estate Services Administrator (Fancy term for admin assistant), 7 months
Arguably one of the top real estate management companies. As the RESA, I was second in command for a team of 7. I had complete control over how the office was set up and ran. There was a high chance of getting hired on permanently. Perks included a teaching female boss who was willing to pass on her knowledge, a company laptop, $19/hour with great benefits and work life balance.
I was offered a permanent full time position. When I asked for more money, the position all of a sudden vanished.
Two months later, my boss had a problem with my hair. She said it was too loud and that I needed to change it. I had worn the hairstyle before and took offense to her sudden change in tone about the style. Later that night I got a call from my temp agency letting me know that I needed to change my hair or the real estate company would fire me. I ended up talking to the real estate company's HR department, they backed up my manager, two weeks later, I got a call on a Friday from my temp agency stating that that was indeed my last day in that position.
My part in the mess:
First of all, I changed my hair. Second, I stayed angry about the incident and it showed in my work. I started making mistakes, started talking back to my manager, I even began giving her attitude. At the end of the day, the reason my position ended so abruptly was because of my actions.
1. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation where you are told something about you or your personal identity such as your hair is unacceptable for a job. Basic discrimination issues. You have to make a decision: is that position worth losing your identity. If so, change the the aspect of yourself your employer finds wrong. If not, don't change the aspect of yourself that your employer finds wrong. Either way, you have to live with that decision.
If I had kept my hair the way it was, they would have still ended my position and I would have been able to file a discrimination law suit against the company. However, since I changed my hair and then decided to act out, I practically handed them reasons to claim why my hair wasn't the reason they ended my position, but x, y, and z that I did was.
2. Never agree to something on the spot. When they offered me a full time permanent position, I accepted right away. So, when I went back and tried to change the terms of the agreement, after having thought it through, it was already too late. Granted, my initial agreement was only verbal, yet still it is always a good idea to take at least twenty four hours to think through the terms and what's best for you.
Position 3: Innovative Healthcare Admin
Job Title: Executive Assistant, 6 months
Job Specs: Top healthcare provider in the country, working for a team of three executives and ten team members who were all go-getters and the best in the field. Perks included free lunch almost everyday, a great creative work environment, $21/hour with great benefits and a potential to be hired on permanently.
The Fallout: There was never a real fallout, but things in this position were deteriorating fast. The manager of the department, all though nice up front, was caniving and manipulative behind the scenes. I watched her push two really good people out of the department because she no longer thought they added value to the department. This position was only supposed to be two weeks, but was extended to six months as a trial run. When that six months came to an end, the manager continued to drag me along and I knew I needed to get out fast.
My part in the mess: Everyone in the office new that I had goals and dreams for my life beyond being an admin. I felt threatned because everyone in the office had an advanced degree and I was looked down upon because I only have a bachelors education, let alone a liberal arts education. So I compensated by making sure everyone knew that I was going to be a famous inspirational speaker and entertainer one day. So, in the same meeting where the manager extended my trial run she asked me what my goals were. That's when I knew I had messed up.
1. You are worthy to occupy any space you see fit. Don't let other's opinions and prejudice driven ideals overshadow the hard work and determination it took for you to get to where you are now.
2. Everyone at work doesn't need to know your business. Keep all conversations about work. If you must share your personal life, do it outside of the work place and only with a friend or two you can definitely trust not to spill your tea.
You see, I had fault in every career break up I've been through. Yet in each instance I learned from my mistakes and became a stronger candidate. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that I was not meant to hold down a 9-5 and I was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. Yet, I encourage you to take a long hard look at your failures in your life, be honest about your part in those failures, and look for the lesson. Failure is life's way of teaching us something about ourselves and about the world we live in. We just have to make sure we stop and take notes, or we won't learn and grown. I'm just keeping it real.
It's a great day to conquer the world. So go forth and slay!
ORIGINALLY POSTED ON JULY 19, 2018