On the way home from work that night, I kept going over my meeting with my supervisor and my boss. The more I thought of every minuscule detail of that conversation, the angrier i got. In business school, I was taught that when it comes to management, the corporate climate is established from the top and it trickles down to lower management. If a manager creates an environment that shows that he/she is interested in the work that his team puts in and is willing to defend them to upper management when necessary, there is a sense of security. And when an employee feels that they secure, it drastically improves the quality of their work. In the end the difference between an average employee and an excellent one is how secure they feel when it comes to their leaders.
When you are working for a company where you are made to feel like you are replaceable and only the fraudulent survive, you can’t help but wonder what you future is going to be. I recall a moment when I confessed to a co worker over lunch that there is no future for me working at the company. I never thought that after working for two years to earn a Masters degree, I would be working somewhere lacking room for growth.
I spent the weekend weighing my options. Do I quit and spend time focusing all my energy into finding a better job or do I just stick it out? I asked my friends what they thought. I got mixed reviews. Some felt I should stick it out. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, they said. You can get a better job when you have a job, they said. And some said I should just turn in my badge and quit. Take a risk, don’t turn back.
All these opinions did not make my decision any easier. However, by Sunday night, I made my decision. I was going to quit. For a moment , I had this euphoric feeling on what was to come but I didn’t know what it was. I felt like I was on the cusp of something amazing but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. All I knew was the more I thought about not having to be at work on Tuesday because I was planning to quit on Monday, the more excited I got.
Of course, I had to share this news with my mother.
I woke up that Monday feeling excitement. I had a whole plan in mind. I was going to wake up super early and look around for any company property like name tags or badges laying around. Wanted to make sure that I have every thing I need to hand back to the powers that be when I go in to resign from my position. Because of the informal nature of the job, there was really no need to give them two week notice. They would just fire you. So I decided that I would go in, guns blazing and just tell them I am done.
As I skipped down the stairs to go to work, I found my mom in the living room sipping tea. I happily plopped into the couch next to her and told her about my plans. I had already rehearsed the whole thing in my head.
Me: Mom, after much consideration, I mean, I have really thought long and hard about this. I have decided that I am quitting my job today.
Mom: **blank stare**
At this point, I thought if I elaborate more on why I was choosing to leave my job, she will give me an expression of understanding.
Me: Mom, you know that I have been having a hard time with the management at my job for a while and it is hard to work for a company that does not have your best interest….
Mom: **blank stare, occasional blinking**
Me: I mean ,there is not future for me there. I feel that in order for me to be able to keep my job , I had to cheat the system and that goes against everything I learnt in my Ethics class in Business school. The environment is toxic and I feel undervalued. I mean just last week, they laid off some of the best representatives in the company. They had been working there for years. What hope is there for me? I feel like I am on chopping block anyways and I refuse to be fired from a job like this…so I am going to leave.
Mom: **deep inhale and exhale** So you are going to quit?
Mom: So, do you have another job lined up?
Me: **Blank Stare**
My mom was totally killing my vibe. I knew where she was going with this
Mom: Well, do you?
Me: Does it matter? I am going to get another job once I have the time to look.
Mom: If you quit this job, how are you going to explain to say a potential employer or recruiter why you quit a job when there are thousands of people looking for jobs? How can you run when no one is chasing you??
In this very moment, I wish I had just kept my plans to myself because my mom had to just give me some of her wisdom. The kind of wisdom that you know if right but you don’t want to admit it. I mean, I had a plan laid out as to how I was going to quit. I was going to waltz into the building, head over straight to HR and tell them that I am resigning. I didn’t even plan on talking to my supervisor or checking in with him as I am supposed to. I was going to give them my badge, sign whatever documents necessary and leave. I was going to pick up some cupcakes from my favorite bakery, buy some lunch and spend the rest of the day celebrating. But alas.
Mom: Listen, I know you don’t like that job but until something better comes along, you have stick with your job and give them your very best.
I felt like deflated balloon. Reality bites. She was right. Until someone chases you, you can’t really run because what are you running from? With my botched plans in tow, I hung my head and went to work. So much for that plan.