Updated: Apr 10, 2019
I've had multiple jobs and worked with many people in my young adult life. Some experiences were more challenging than others. Some personalities were less pleasant than others. But there was one company in particular that I worked for that I'm almost certain was founded by Lucifer himself.
To put it plainly, the place was a straight up s*** show. There was no organized process or workflow to managing projects. There was very little to no cross-functionality between departments. Every minor issue became an urgent matter (for instance, a typo in an email was treated as if the entire building was about to burn down) which made completing tasks virtually impossible. Upper management spent the majority of their time gossiping and micromanaging employees, destroying any hopes for a company morale. My department supervisor, who seemed to not have the slightest clue about how to manage a team, did more nitpicking, belittling and finger pointing than communicating, encouraging and delegating. On top of all that, my primary job function was NOWHERE NEAR what was listed in my job description. I was hired to handle the company's marketing communications (PR, copywriting and digital marketing) and somehow, 95% of my workload wound up consisting of packing and shipping out trade show materials and booking flights and hotels for the sales team.
Being in that environment every day wore me out mentally. My confidence and motivation had reached an all-time low and my anxiety was through the roof. Every time I would step foot in that place, my mood declined, as if every ounce of positive energy was being zapped right out of me. I knew I had to make a change, so one day I came in and typed up my two weeks' notice, immediately sending it over to my supervisor before I could change my mind. I had no clear, defined exit plan in place. Just a need for an exit.
In hindsight, I realize how crucial that experience was to my personal and professional development. For starters, it introduced me to therapy (lol) and helped me realize the importance of valuing myself enough to not settle for circumstances that compromise my mental, spiritual and physical health. It challenged me to expand my problem-solving and communication skills, which has benefited me tremendously in my current role. It heightened my ability to take criticism and deal with people who were less than pleasant. It taught me that there's a distinct difference between leading and managing — operating from a place of purpose and influence rather than one of power and control. It showed me how having a lack of vision and direction is the root of chaos, conflict and confusion. And of course, it obviously taught me how NOT to run a business lol.
I say all that to say this: no matter what unfavorable situation you may find yourself in, there's always a lesson to be learned for a greater purpose that you may not realize yet. Just know that you are not stuck where you are. That you have the capacity to change your situation, even if it means pivoting and taking a major leap of faith in order to do so.