Are you doing what you are called to do?
“Sis.. Do what you were called to do, so you can stop having an attitude.” - Unknown Hey Beautiful! I need to be honest with you for a second.. I haven’t always been the greatest employee. I have been laid off, let go, forced out, and even terminated via voicemail. Yes, voicemail. I stepped away from my cell for about 5 minutes to make some tea, and came back to a voicemail saying, “I didn’t want to have to do it this way, but effective immediately, you’re terminated.” And before you ask, no, I was not fired on my day off, I was a remote employee. And even though I was beyond ready to move on, my most recent firing caught me completely by surprise. I came back to work from my holiday vaca on January 2nd, and was let go on the 3rd. It was the third consecutive job I had lost, and I was left with all sorts of feelings of failure. Thoughts of inadequacy, not being good enough, unconfident, embarrassment, shame, guilt, stress, fear, all swarmed my brain, causing me to retreat deeper into my bubble, making me even more of a recluse than I had been in the months prior. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to be seen. All I wanted to do was sit in the house, in my seemingly never-ending funk, and sulk over the fact that I had been fired, yet again. Mornings were tough, and nights were worse. But after maybe the 19th day of me crying my eyes out, I had epiphany. The reality was that, I wasn’t that bad of an employee. I mean, I did sometimes sashay into the office late and tootsie roll out of there early. Take the occasional extended lunch for my bi-weekly mani pedi. Look for, and apply for other jobs on my work computer. Blog at my desk. I’ve even sent out the everso casual, passive-aggressive, “Shut the fuck up” email a time or five (because we’ve all done it). But my actual work product was always impeccable. My problem was that I was playing small. And my playing small caused me to become increasingly disgusted with the work that I was doing, because it wasn’t what I truly wanted to do. There was no fulfillment, no passion, nothing. And over time, it showed in my attitude. Comments like the following filled my performance evaluations: “Racquel acts like she doesn’t want to be here.” “Racquel lacks enthusiasm in her work.” “Racquel is great at rudimentary tasks, but doesn’t go beyond that.” “Racquel lacks a sense of urgency.” I was initially offended at the remarks made about me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, they were right. And no matter how hard I tried to hide it, the reality was that, I was unhappy, and everyone around me noticed. And because of my unhappiness, I refused to do anything other than what I was assigned. I didn’t get excited when presented with a project. I took my time in completing tasks. And I refused to engage in anything with my colleagues that wasn’t work related. And I was going from job to job to job doing the same thing, with the same outcome. I played it small because I was sick of rejection. I entertained positions I had no business looking at in the first place, all in the name of consistent income. I took the first thing that came my way because I thought that, that was all I was capable of doing. I was afraid to shoot my shot at what I truly wanted, because I was unsure of my skill sets. I held myself back because I was afraid of my success and the responsibility that came with it. I forced myself to fit into spaces that I knew good and damn well, were not meant for me. Basically, I settled for jobs the same way we oftentimes settle for relationships. And after my last termination, I think I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. Regardless of how great the salary may be. Regardless of how great the benefits and perks are, I cannot and will not sell myself short, all in the name of paycheck. And I’m damn sure no longer going to allow my place of employment to leave me feeling frustrated, depleted, defeated, and unable to pursue my passions. It’s just not worth it. Sister my sister, it’s time we stop playing small when it comes to our career paths, and start being more intentional about the shit that we want. It’s time for us to stop putting our dreams on hold to help build someone else’s. But more importantly, it’s time for us to take a chance, and bet on ourselves. Because afterall, if we don’t do it, we can’t expect that anyone else will. With Love, Racquel