It was a Friday morning when I got the call. This was it, the moment I worked so hard for over the last five years. It was my dream company offering me my dream job. I was over the moon that weekend as I weighed my pros and cons about leaving my current work family, the family who stood by my side throughout the physical and mental exhaustion of working full-time while attending university full-time. Ultimately, I took the leap of faith and accepted the offer and left the comfort of my current life.
That was just over a year ago, and I have never regretted anything in my life up until this point.
My dream job and dream company turned out to be my biggest nightmare.
The first week I knew something was not right. When my supervisor made a comment about hazing new employees, I felt a gut-wrenching feeling of unease, one I could not shake.
I pushed my doubts out of my head, even through her storming down the halls screaming at the top of her lungs over an email. I pushed my doubts out of my head, even when she made discriminatory remarks about my appearance and where I was born. I pushed my doubts out of my head, even when I overheard her telling my peers nasty and inappropriate rumors about me. I pushed my doubts out of my head, even when she called other employees names, knowing my fiancé was one of those employees. I pushed my doubts out of my head, even when she forcefully made us go against CDC guidelines in the middle of a global pandemic for no valid reason besides wanting to control every situation.
And this does not even begin to touch the surface of the situation. My friends and family would encourage me to “go to HR!” But how do you go to HR when you are HR? I finally spoke up, after 10 months of trying to push my doubts out of my head, and what did I learn? I learned that fighting HR with HR will not get you very far. My concerns were pushed under the rug.
The only way to escape a toxic environment is to leave it. It is more likely to change you, than you are it. I knew I had to leave. Finding a new career in the middle of a global pandemic when unemployment rates are at a record all time high was not going to be easy, but oh, was it necessary. I was lucky, I was able to find new employment after a few long weeks of searching. Not only was the pay much better, the people are kind, the work is praised, and the environment is calming.
If you find yourself working in a hostile work environment, the time to leave is now. If you are being bullied at work, especially by a direct supervisor, the time to leave is now. I stayed longer than I should have simply because I felt it was everything I had worked for and wanted. I convinced myself that a company name and size meant it was better than another, which could not be farther from the truth. The corruption that unfolded in my short time spent here was devastating to my ego. It shot my dreams and made me lose sight of my goals and my dreams.
What you thought was your dream job does not have to stay that way. You are allowed to change your mind, you are allowed to admit you were wrong, and you are allowed to leave. Staying where the fire in your soul is being contained is going to eventually make it burn out. Open the doors, let the oxygen flow in, and let the fire burn as freely and wildly as possible.