Exhausted after another day of anxiety-induced shivers and 8 hours of busy work, I plopped onto my friend's sectional and proceeded to put my chin into my hands.
"This is my last week; On Friday, I'm giving my resignation and never coming back." It was a Wednesday earlier this year, and my friend turned to respond, "If you're not going back after Friday, why are you going back tomorrow?"
"....I really don't know!"
That short conversation prompted us to quickly write a concise letter of resignation, head to my office, grab my few personal belongings and leave my letter on HR's desk. It was exhilarating, terrifying & freeing all at the same time.
I never imagined that I would leave a position with no notice but that's exactly what I did.
After months of feeling manipulated, disrespected and threatened, I was finally brave enough to do what "they" wanted me to do: leave. I could go into detail about the events & conversations that lead up to this moment, but instead I'll give you 4 key lessons I took with me.
NEVER DOUBT YOUR TALENT
I was working in an environment where my past experience, my education, and my unique talent was not appreciated. In my desire to be a "good employee", I allowed the leadership to make me question my own abilities. I know that I am more than capable, but when pressed to fit into a mold that wasn't meant for me, I questioned if I was able to perform.
One day, I walked past one of the architects in my firm reviewing drawings of another designer. There was so much red-lines that it looked like the page was bleeding. My work never required that much correction. At that moment, I snapped out of my haze of doubt and realized, "this is NOT about my work!"
LESSON: You are enough for the position & employer that knows your worth.
STAY TRUE TO YOUR VALUES
Work is important for me and I am grateful to be able to support myself doing work that I love. I am constantly challenging myself to do better; I'm driven! But work is NOT my life. I show up, work hard, and leave work at work. When I am in a team atmosphere, I do my part + help the other team members in the best way I can. But what I won't do is prioritize work over the things I value most.
LESSON: First things come first. Always.
BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU
I've never really been great at assimilating because I only know how to be myself. I present myself as a professional, southern woman everywhere I go. My femininity, my blackness & my values don't change when I show up for work.
LESSON: Collaborate with those who see your differences as strengths rather than threats to the status quo.
REMEMBER WHO YOU WORK FOR
When I finished school and began working in architecture, my view of work changed from being a means to an end to worship. God has blessed me to be able to use my gifts, talents and training to be able to do what I do. Working is another way to worship God who breathes life into me every morning. Yes, my paycheck may have an employer's name on it, but I know that my job is not my source; it's a resource.
LESSON: Never believe the lie that you cannot live without your job.
God is so faithful and he always provides. I would never encourage someone to be reckless or rash in making career decisions, but if God gives you permission to let something go, TRUST him. The day after I left my job, I woke up, made a cup of coffee & sat on my sofa with the most amazing sense of peace.
Later that morning, I got an email (from my now employer) asking me if I was available for to interview for a position I had not even applied for. Now, I'm working with an amazing team doing work that I love at Level 5 Designs. I can't wait to share what we are working on, but for now, follow us on Facebook / Instagram and check out our website!
Creative spirit living & loving in Raleigh, NC.