Self Worth, Happiness, and Leaving Your Job
Excuse me as I re-learn to blog. Over a month (two? I don't want to know!) has passed since my last entry, but I ensure you I'm back for good. Along with a new design, expect regular weekly-content and a continued dedication to this platform – and to you readers (thanks for sticking by me!). The reason for my near-silence is simply this: for almost four months, I worked excruciatingly long, exhausting hours working for a PR agency where I was absolutely miserable. The environment was toxic and borderline abusive, but most importantly, I didn't feel as though I was being valued for my skills and potential. As I fought through my anguishes and told myself I had to stick with it to amount to something, or rather, someone, build a career, and feel successful, I ultimately gave up something extremely important: my self-worth.
As women, we often very easily let our self-worth slip away from us. I certainly let it slip away from me. Feeling beaten by my job, I suddenly fell into a mindset that I wouldn’t find a better position, that I wasn’t smart enough to find a better job, and that though I hold a Master’s degree, speak two languages (and a half!), and have a creative background, I wasn’t hirable.
I believe it’s important to point out that I thought about deleting the previous sentence. I didn’t want to come across as conceited, or as tooting my own horn, so to speak. But this would go against exactly what I’m advocating for: stating your worth and (re)claiming your happiness. If you feel that at this point in your life you should be more successful, take a step back, take stock of what you have to offer, and decide if your vision of the ideal you is a realistic portrait of what you actually want to be, of what you actually take pleasure in, and if it would actually make you happy. For me, it didn't. High-powered PR Coline isn't achievable because the path to get there would tear me apart. High-powered PR Coline is a fictionalized character I held onto in my mind but which started to fall apart as I went along. And that's fine, it doesn't mean I'm not worthy or smart or..or...you get the drift. It just means I have other skills to offer for a position that will result in my sanity, my confidence, and, ultimately, my long-term happiness. Because happiness is a crucial aspect of self-worth.
Self-worth is not only recognizing and appreciating your own qualities and talents, it's also knowing when to put happiness forward instead of putting-up with the status-quo. It's knowing when to quit. It's knowing when to change gear, and taking the right-turn at the fork in the road.
I realized I needed to take my worth from myself and not from those around me, and because I wanted to stop feeling miserable, I decided to take action: I looked at other career options. I reached out to people (friends of friends of friends) to let them know I was interested in their company or asked to get coffee so I could talk about their career path and how they got to where they are. I created an online portfolio of my written work. And though I didn’t always succeed, I pushed myself to think myself worthy and not as a failure.
After an exciting job-interview, I immediately texted my boyfriend "I definitely didn't get it, but this position sounds so interesting and I'm in love with the company." Though I had gotten past the initial phone-interview, a writing-test, and had been invited to an in-person meeting, I still didn't value my worth.
Confidence does not come easily to me, and I believe that it most likely doesn’t come easily to you. Expectations of women are that we “know our place,” that we don’t challenge others, that we smile and accept and endure. But though it's engrained in our neurons, it's not part of our DNA.
If you're unhappy at your job, I urge you to simply leave. Of course, financially speaking, this isn't exactly easy, but if like me you came home wiped and deflated, it might actually pay-off in the long-run.
Going into the second week at my new job (yep, the same one I interviewed for!) I am still fighting imposter-syndrome. I'm still pinching myself to make sure I am indeed where I am, and I'm still semi-waiting for someone to tell me they've made a horrible mistake hiring me and to please leave now. If that happens, then that should be an indication I simply wasn't the right fit for them, not that I wasn't worthy. But instead of over-thinking this scenario, I'm actively reminding myself that they hired me for a reason, and that reason is me.
If you're in a similar situation as I am, or as I was (feeling miserable at your job), I would like to invite you to make a promise: Don't let yourself fall into the rabbit-hole of insecurities and self-doubt. Leave the situation that is making you feel this way. Stop surrounding yourself with the people that are negatively impacting your self-esteem. State your worth. Don't be afraid to sound presumptuous. Let the world know why you're great, and I promise you they'll listen, and most importantly, they'll believe you.