When I was offered a job as a marketing coordinator at a real estate company, I felt so fortunate. I thought 'surely my career is about to take off,' but the reality was far more different from what I had imagined.
It only took two days before I started considering jumping ship. Your first week at a new job should be an exciting period in your career; for me, it was an eye-opener and a lesson in self-preservation.
On day one, I showed up ready for the new challenge, but by the end of the day, I was drained.
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Firstly, I asked my manager what was expected from me, and one of the roles he mentioned was boosting the company's Facebook engagement. This had never been discussed with me beforehand. It wasn't in line with the job I had applied for, so I started to get frustrated.
Secondly, I met my five new colleagues, and they were complaining about the company the entire day and made nasty comments about new arrivals at the company, which made me feel like these were directed at me, so I felt belittled.
I didn't feel like they were productive, and it didn't help that the company seemed to be in financial trouble. At one point, I couldn't access the internet as the bill for the Wi-Fi wasn't paid. It was a very unprofessional environment.
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I also noticed that my new colleagues were not open to new suggestions or growth. They wouldn't acknowledge my ideas and were quite hostile in their way of thinking. Day two and three were no different.
I wasn't tasked with any work to do, and I always had to go back to my line manager and ask for work. By the end of day three, I was confident that I wasn't going to last at my new job and decided to have a meeting with my employer to inform him that I would be quitting at the end of the week.
I was initially nervous and felt terrible as I was headhunted for the job. When I met with my manager, I thanked him for the opportunity and said to him, "As bad as I feel about quitting, if I don't do this now, we'll probably be having this conversation in six months."
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He surprisingly understood and wished me the best for the next step in my life. When I informed my colleagues, they were nonchalant about my decision, and I casually said my goodbyes without a farewell party. I was paid for the five days.
I learned that not everyone will see eye to eye with your decisions, but that's okay.
Some may think you're irresponsible for giving up your job or perhaps feel that you're acting entitled. However, quitting without a new job to go to could benefit your career overall.
It allowed me to take stock of what is important to me and do some intensive thinking about what I need from my life and career. I also learnt what my triggers were and became proactive.
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In the first few months of resigning, I would feel overwhelmed and sometimes demotivated. This gave me time to figure out what I love doing and how I could turn my hobbies and interests into a career. My love for creating invitations on Canva and Photoshop helped me turn my hobby into a side hustle.
I learned the power of networking. I had the time to attend conferences, reach out to my networks, and build new relationships.
Had I stayed at the new job, I would not have learned half of what I've learnt. I wouldn't have met any of the fantastic people I've met in my journey so far, who have since impacted my life.
Quitting my 9-5 within a week helped me regain my power and put my happiness and peace first.
Have you ever taken a drastic decision to preserve your mental health? Tell us about it here.
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