It usually started to set in Sunday midday, maybe earlier; that feeling in the pit of my stomach, the decline in my mood. By the time Monday morning rolled around, I would be in full-fledged stress-mode and felt generally unhappy, oftentimes even sad. There may be some light moments throughout each day, but every time I received a call or email from management, I felt a sudden moment of fear and trepidation. I had felt this way for two years and knew it was not healthy. Even on days when I didn’t eat a thing until dinner because my stomach was in knots and then on the day my doctor prescribed Xanax for anxiety, I knew I needed out. Life’s too short, right?
In the midst of all of this, my department was going through a reorganization. I had put my resume on the typical career sites ‘just in case’ but I wasn’t prepared for the day I actually got the news that my job was impacted. I was told there was still a job for me in my location – albeit a demotion. They were surprised when I became very emotional with this news. Let’s see, I bust my behind every day and I’m ‘always on,’ constantly checking email (evenings, weekends, even vacation) and yet, I should feel good that I can take a demotion and most likely have the same amount of stress and work. Yay for me.
I had to face tough decisions. Am I willing to give up more than a decade here and the benefits and salary that came along with this? Can I afford a pay cut? Are these sacrifices worth it to be happy? On the other hand, what am I sacrificing by staying in a job where I am truly miserable? What kind of example am I setting for my little boys?
I had six weeks to apply for this other job that would be a demotion or take severance. After a couple of weeks, I became annoyed that this job had not been posted, but then something interesting happened. After a very frustrating morning, I received a weekly email update from one of the career sites. In that list was a job with Access, who I worked very closely with on our quarterly campaigns. About a year earlier, I had a meeting in their office and was so impressed with their team and their incredibly cool office. Oh, how I longed to work someplace like that.
After making a phone call and sending in my resume, I was scheduled for an interview. Could this really be happening? My husband and I started crunching numbers to figure out the minimum I would need to make. This was the scary part. What if I was offered this job and had to turn it down? Well, since this is an Access blog, you’ve probably already figured out that I got the job. Being a big believer in ‘everything happens for a reason,’ I don’t think things could have happened any more perfectly. Access was gracious enough to let me finish out my time at my prior company so I could get severance. Then I knew it was truly meant to be when the salary was just right.
The point in all of this is that the old adage ‘you have to take care of yourself because no one else is going to’ is true. I had operated for far too long believing that if I worked hard, things would eventually turn around, but that wasn’t the case. Had I not posted my resume on the career sites and asked questions when I saw an opportunity, I may still be living in that miserable world. So if you are in a place like this and you don’t know how to get out, at least take a few simple steps like updating and posting your resume. You never know what one small step will lead to.
Now, I know you’re wondering…was this a good decision, am I happy? Without a doubt, yes, yes, yes. It is so refreshing to enjoy weekends now and not dread Monday mornings. I truly enjoy what I do and the people I work with at Access. My husband says it’s obvious I am much happier now and no longer scare him (haha) and I actually look forward to and enjoy every minute with my little boys. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it should be all about?
Misty Smith-Klein, Account Executive