This was originally published on A Work In Progress. Diana Veiga is a writer based in Washington, D.C.
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I have been thinking for the past week on the best way to explain the hows and the whys regarding my decision to quit my job. Without having another job. Or a real plan. Well I’m Type A so I always have some sort of plan. But this plan wasn’t quite as detailed as I would have wanted. There were blind spots. Gray areas. Black holes. And yet and still, I quit my job and I haven’t looked back.
I don’t want to talk badly about my former employer or my supervisor. I have thought about it and realized that there’s no point and nothing good would ever come from putting them down even if I never named them.
But I will give the rundown. In as much of a nutshell as I can.
So I had expressed a desire for a raise. And it wasn’t happening. And I felt like I had no advocate in the process. Admittedly, I was frustrated and mad and I let my work performance suffer. I will own that totally and completely. Of course then the powers that be were like what the fuss? You want this job or nawl? Then it felt like because I had let things slip that meant they could say to me, “Well we might not never ever give you a raise. So what you gon’ do, boo?” I felt trapped and like they had determined my rate. My value. My worth. It was as if they said, this is much as you deserve. Take it or leave it.
And somewhere in the midst of this is when I started making gift baskets. The way it happened was so random. I love making gift baskets for people and had done so on a few occasions. I said to myself, “I bet I could offer to do this for a little bit of change.” I put up some pictures of previous baskets on the Facebook and offered my services. And wouldn’t you know orders started coming in. And it was amazing! And encouraging. I was doing something that had no start up cost and was basically all profit. Suddenly I was reminded that I had the power to set my own value. Determine my own worth. I was pumped.
The Work and The Supervisor
Ahhh well I don’t want to bad mouth anyone, but if this were a relationship I would say something like, we were just in different places and wanted different things. LOL! No, I think my supervisor wanted something for me that I didn’t want. She wanted me to take over one day. And I didn’t want that because it wasn’t my dream. She wanted me to do more in my current position, have more responsibilities (at least she said so, but she had control issues so not really), but I was ok where I was (doing just enough, what needed to get done) because I had my own plans and goals outside of the office. She gave her life to the job and I didn’t. And then the breaking point was that when the money was clearly not happening and then my work began to suffer, she rightfully got pissed.
But how she handled her pissage was the worse. What we had was a failure to communicate. It got so bad that we only emailed each other. And when it got to that point then I knew that the working relationship was too far gone. It wasn’t just frayed. It was broken at its core. There was no coming back because in my mind I was the employee, she was the Director, so if she wanted a change or wanted to tell me about myself then I was there and I was waiting.
So I thought I was going to get fired. I was ready for it y’all. Fired wouldn’t be so bad. I would at least be able to collect some unemployment while I worked on my dreams. And I’m also in a frenzy mode, sending out resumes but not getting any response. And I’m trying to hold on until I get the next job that I probably won’t love, but will pay the bills. I’m waiting on someone else, everyone else, to make a decision for me. To get me out of this horrible situation.
But then I remembered something I read by matchmaker/entrepreneur Paul Brunson about how hard you have to hustle when you have no safety net. Nothing to fall back on. Something inside me, a still, small voice said, “You have to take the leap of faith and trust you’ll be ok.”
Because if I really wanted to be there, if I really felt that it was the place for me, then I would have made it work. I would have done and given my best. I would have worked it out with my Director. I would have come in ready to learn and grow. But I didn’t.
Because it wasn’t for me.
So I chose life. My life. The life that I want to create for myself. And it was the scariest, most frightful, the hell, heffa are you crazy decision?!! And yet at the same time, it wasn’t scary at all. Cause what I knew for sure was that I wasn’t gon’ die. It might get hard. I might not have all the answers. But I wasn’t gon’ die. I have family and friends who support me. A little bit of a nest egg. Skills. Goals. Jesus. No, I wasn’t gon’ die.
So I chose my life. And so far?
In this first week of not having a 9-5 (with no plans to find another), I have been whispering to myself:
You’re betting on yourself.
I then also whisper always bet on Black as a little haha to myself because I have no sense.
There were so many other great quotes and nuggets that I received today and that I hope to share next week. But I wanted to get this one out tonight. It was confirmation that I was in right place at the right time and moving in the right direction.
For a good while, I don’t want to say that I didn’t believe in myself, but I definitely wasn’t betting on myself. I definitely was letting other folks’ set my value and worth. Letting them say that this is a far as we believe that you can go. Settling in to mediocrity and getting complacent. It was just easier there. More comfortable there. For good, bad or worse, I knew what to expect when I punched in, worked 8 hours, and then punched out. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Have I shared on here how much I love sparkly things? I mean lurve, lurve, lurve things that glitter. I buy sparkly purses, shoes, tops, pillows, Chrimus cards. Sometimes I have to stop myself from buying something sparkly. So I would say that I’m a naturally sparkly person – personality wise and whatnot – but sometimes I turn it down. Sometimes I think it might be too much. Sometimes I don’t want to let all my light shine because? Well I don’t know why exactly. Because it’s easier to hide and not stand out, maybe. Because it seemed too scary. Because then what if I sparkle and people think I’m great? Then will I have to continue being great?
But in stepping out of my comfort zone, in taking the leap, in betting on myself – well I don’t have any choice but to sparkle. But to put myself out there. But to try, shine and be the best. I have to believe in: my talents, my gifts, my abilities, my sparkle. Myself.
I’ve already taken the risk. I’ve already gambled. So now I just have to go all in and bet on myself.
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Original posts: "Why I Quit: A Matter of Life and Death" and "The Better Bet."