Leaving the Corporate World - One Chapter of My Life
Not too long ago, I was a manager in a corporation that manufactured corrugated containers or more commonly known as "boxes". Why am I telling you this and why do you care? I want to tell you that it was really fucking scary to leave my corporate job that I worked so hard to get. But anything is possible if you set your mind to it, with or without the support from others.
Flashback a few years prior, I got a DUI and was let go of my supervisor position with a company that I truly enjoyed. I worked with a group of really great people taking care of a group of intellectually challenged adults. It was really a great job. Pay sucked but I enjoyed it. So I lied about my DUI and eventually they found out and I was let go. I was so embarrassed that I had worked so hard to be in that position, then I threw it all away one night when I rolled my vehicle in a ditch, walking away with only a scratch. We are lucky to be alive. I was arrested and was in serious trouble considering this is not the first time this has happened to me. That story is for another time.
But they say "everything happens for a reason" and leads me to my next job. This company was hiring a temporary position for a front desk admin. My dad had also worked for this company so he put a good word in for me. I got the job almost on the spot. A week prior to that, I was working at the job I thought I would be spending forever at, and now I am accepting a temp job that I had no idea would lead to anything. I took the job and started that next week.
I quickly learned the roles of the front desk. I am naturally ambitious and a go-getter so I seek out extra work. I ask the General Manager (GM) and the Sales Manager (SM) for extra work to do to keep me busy. They have no problem finding extra work for me, especially since they were going through a system overhaul where they were completely changing from one system to another. Everyone was stressed. I had no idea what I was getting into but I love helping people, so I helped wherever and whenever I could.
Apparently this type of "go-getter" attitude I had was recognized by many people in management and by my peers. I was eventually offered a full time position as a Customer Service Representative or CSR. I was truly honored to be offered this position. I FINALLY felt like I had a "big girl" job. My parents would be so proud! I was making just over $40k a year and I thought that was the best thing ever! I had never made this much money at ONE job before. I used to work several jobs so yes I have made that much before but not from ONE paycheck. Little did I know, I was signing over my soul for a little over $40k a year...
Fast forward... I am a quick learner. I catch on to everything really quick. Computers. Systems. You name it. My skills do not go unnoticed so when one of the other 'star' employees quits, I am handed his accounts on top of the accounts I was already managing. I lied to myself and said this was a good thing. They trust me with these accounts. You are doing great Sausha. Keep up the "hard work". Things will get better eventually. Well, let me sum it up for you. I worked more. I worked harder. I worked day and night. I was miserable. I did the work of 3 people and then some. I was promoted to CSR2 where my work load only increased from there. I did the work of the manager and myself.... for almost no extra pay. It's OK I told myself. They will reward me eventually. Things will pay out for me in then end. I have good benefits. People would kill for this job!
The harder I worked, the more miserable I became. Things started to fall apart around me. I am normally a pretty positive person but the negativity of my surroundings were bringing me down. I started to hate my hob. I started to be pissed off all the time again. I didn't take it out on the people I worked with but on my husband when I would get home. I wanted out. I wanted to quit. I cried at night hating the though of having to go back to that place the next day. I never enjoyed my weekends because I would spend them in a drunken stupor trying to relax from my stressful week. Hangovers are the fucking icing on the cake to a shitty job.
So now.. a manager position opens up. What do I do? What am I supposed to do? What does everyone suggest I do? I apply for the job. Who else is going to keep this place from falling into the pits of hell? It has to be me. I have to save this place. Save everyone. But the kicker is, it's not up to me to save everyone. I did not know this at the time. I try everything I know how to do. Yes, I was a young manager but I gave it my all and then some. I really truly wanted to be "successful" in the eyes of my peers, my husband, my dad... but I couldn't do it anymore. I was exhausted... so exhausted that my body started to react to my mental exhaustion.
Not to mention, I hid my pregnancy for 16 WEEKS because I thought I NEEDED this job and I was FEARFUL I would not get the position because I was a women. I was "weak". I was pregnant and "fragile". Nobody likes fragile in manufacturing. Even though I am one of the toughest mother fuckers they will ever meet, but that's neither here nor there. I finally told them about a week after they offered me the position that I was expecting a baby in May. They were happy or at least said they were but now I was starting to question if I really wanted this job after all.
At this time, the company was expanding. I was working 14-16 hours days. Not all at the office but I was working literally from sun up to sun down on my laptop and on my phone. What was free time? What was this pregnancy bliss I was supposed to be experiencing? I barely had time to take a shit, let alone enjoy my life. I worked up until the day before I went into labor. I literally worked up until I could no longer work.
My water broke at 4 AM and little miss arrived around 11 AM. My labor was quick. It was painful. I used no drugs. No meds. Nothing. She was born perfect. And my life had forever changed. I cannot tell you all of the emotions I experienced that day. Joy. Pain. Sadness. Love. Happiness. Fear. I experienced them all. But in the back of my head all I could think of once things calmed down, was I would eventually have to go back to that hell hole of a job.... sad but true. I just had a baby and not long after I had felt the regret of returning to work.
I took the full 12 weeks that I was 'allowed' to spend with my baby. I would have taken more had they let me. Maybe there was a way to take more. Doesn't matter now in the grand scheme of things. I went back to work and immediately regretted not quitting 12 weeks ago. I said I would stick it out. I said I would make it work. People would KILL for this job! I mean come on, I'm making decent money, the office hours are OK (total bullshit when you're on call 24/7), and the "benefits" were GREAT! Who am I kidding? I should stay forever! But part of me died everyday I had to go there... I still felt this way even after all this time.
I decided I would quit. I had to do it. or my mental sanity. I wanted to stay home with my new baby. NO JOB is worth me not seeing my baby. Fuck all the jobs in the world! I would never get this time back with my baby... So I gave my notice. And I cried. I cried a lot. I cried because I would miss working. I cried because maybe I liked this job after all. I cried because I was leaving friendships. I cried because this place saw me go from single, to married, to a mother all in a few short years. But most of all, I cried because I was terrified what I would do next.
But I did it anyways.....
I will spare you all the details for another blog what happens after that, but I did it. I did the thing I thought I could never do. I quit my corporate management job. The job so many want to have, and I had it. And I hated it. And I left it behind. I started my own business because I love working. I am able to stay at home with little miss sassy pants when I want because that's how I want to spend my time. I MAKE SHIT HAPPEN! I am no longer letting the expectations of OTHERS change the way I feel and the things I want in life. NO LONGER am I letting others rule my world. I am doing what I want, how I want, and with whom I want from now on.
And I want to share that with you. I want to share that you are capable of literally anything you set your mind to. I didn't have help in the beginning. I did all of that on my own. I dug really deep and figured out what I wanted and changed my life forever!
The magic really started to unfold when I hired someone to help me. I decided I was going to start investing in myself for once instead of investing in others. I wanted to spend my hard earned money on ME for once and hired someone to help me get to where I wanted to go. Someone who has been there and can guide me step by step instead of fumbling around for more years trying to figure out what the hell I want to do.
So now, after all of my years experience in the workforce, years of college educations, workshops, programs, certifications, personal experiences... I am teaching people "the way". I am teaching them how I bucked up and made shit happen and holding their hand along the way. I am loving every damn minute of it too. I am a natural teacher. It has been in my blood for many years. But I fell in love with this type of work. I am helping people on my own terms, and teaching them skills that are really life skills that nobody else teaches us! It's like in high school.... nobody taught me how to pay a mortgage or right a check. I had to learn that shit on my own. Or how nobody taught me how to deal with emotions or the expectations of others, I learned it on my own. I want to teach women how to step up their game. Teach them how to be bold, to be brave and to take NO SHIT from anyone!
So this is just a couple brief chapters in my life. I have so much more to tell you. Hang on for this wild ride. It's going to get bumpy... but I'm here to tell you it can also be fun and you don't have to do it alone.