You ever have a set path in your mind? Something you thought you were so sure of, that there were no doubts in your mind of what your future would be like, or even where you will be in 5 years? I was that person and Human Resources was that path. I’ve always played by the rules, stuck to the rule book. Of course I stumbled along the way, but I still did everything I was supposed to do. I graduated from high school. I went to college, then graduated from there. I landed a corporate job that offered great pay and benefits. I followed the path…and yet, I find myself more lost than ever. I’m ashamed to say, I’m even feeling dissatisfied. As I approach my 30th trip around the sun, I have NO idea what I want to do with my life. All I do know is the path that I am on now, is not for me anymore. It’s a terrifying thought. Almost 30 years old with mostly experience in solely HR, and I don’t want this career anymore. Or maybe it is just my current job that has left a bitter taste in my mouth. It’s hard to pinpoint.
10 months ago, I landed an amazing job. It offered growth, great pay, and most importantly, great benefits. Coming from a smaller company where I had to make a conscious decision not to get health insurance because it would cost me half of my paycheck, this opportunity felt like a blessing. And to some extent, it has been. I am grateful for that. It was everything I wanted and worked hard for…or so I thought. If you would have told me 10 months ago that I would end up so miserable, I probably would have reconsidered taking the job. So before I dive deep into the negatives, I would like to focus on the positives first. Let’s see…I got a big increase in pay (amen). I got affordable health insurance, which let’s be honest, was super needed this year. My knowledge in HR has grown at an accelerated rate. This position has taught me to be more confident and independent in decision making. And lastly, my skin has grown much thicker (it’s a cold world in Corporate America).
When I first started this job, I was super excited. It felt very uncomfortable but I was excited about the opportunity of growth in all aspects. It seemed like a casual work environment. Everyone seemed nice. My manager and director seemed thrilled to have me join the team. My manager, who would be leaving on maternity leave, had only 2 weeks to train me. I would take over her workload while she was out. I’ll admit, this made me very uneasy. I mean, 2 weeks is not a long time AT ALL to learn the ins and outs of a company, especially in Human Resources. Also, I took a chance by accepting this position because it was temp to hire. This puts a ridiculous amount of pressure for you to succeed because at any given point, you are dispensable. But in hindsight, that’s with any job, whether it’s permanent or temporary. Despite all of this, I stepped up to the plate and pushed myself to remain optimistic. My manager left on maternity leave in September. By October, I was drowning in work and stress. I began suffering from intense anxiety and was not sleeping, like at all. It became so extreme that I was even admitted to the hospital for sleep deprivation. Determining it was anxiety, I was placed on anti-anxiety medication and referred to a therapist…which I never went to because at the time I did not have insurance. The pressure to excel was overwhelming and it continued to affect my health. By December, I suffered a flu once and gotten a cold twice, all in a 2 month span lol. Not funny, but like come on, my luck was impeccable during those times. I really can’t help but laugh about it now. In December, I became permanent and it felt as if I ran and won a triathlon (I know, I’m dramatic. Consider it a part of my charm). After all, I finally had a secure job with actual benefits!
My manager returned from maternity leave in January and the director seemed ecstatic to have her back. Shit, I was too! Honestly, I was winging it along the way and was relieved to have extra help. Shortly after my manager returned, I noticed a change in attitude between her and the director. I was included in less meetings and updates. I was taken away certain responsibilities, which is normal to a certain extent because duties had to be split, but it was an alarming amount! I was micromanaged, something that was NEVER an issue before. They started to alienate me and I couldn’t understand why. Communication became strained. I was told one thing from my manager, and told to do another by my director. This all leaving me unsure as to what I should do regarding my duties. I started being blamed for errors that were caused by miscommunication. It became a “them vs. me” situation. Constantly walking on eggshells, anticipating the next warning I would be given for something I unintentionally did incorrect. In March, after my miscarriage situation, the treatment became worse. They were annoyed that I missed 2 weeks of work, which in my defense, I never miscarried naturally. I had to have surgery which required recovery time. Upon my return, they turned up the heat. Gave me more projects with impossible deadlines. Every other day, I’m approached with an issue about the quality of my work. When I do complete a project that is valuable and on time, I do not get any credit. If anything, they don’t even respond stating that it’s been received. Meanwhile, my manager gets a response and a pat on the back for every single thing, even something as small as filing. It feels as if I am constantly set up for failure, and with my experience in HR, I would not be surprised if they are trying to push me out the door. I have seen it happen many times. Yesterday, I was mentally preparing myself to get terminated. I injured myself last Thursday and had to take the next two days off due to a pinched nerve in my lower back that prevented me from moving around or walking. They claimed I made a few errors on the most recent project I submitted and told me that it would need to be discussed on the upcoming Tuesday. All Memorial Day weekend, I was anxious and afraid I would no longer have a job once I returned. Well, turns out there were no errors made on my part and I had proof. I presented this to them and all they could say is that we can discuss later in the week. I wasn’t given an apology. They didn’t address it after that. There goes my idea of a secure job. Harsh lesson learned; nothing is ever guaranteed.
So yeah, there goes the raw honest truth of what is going on in my life career wise. I did not write this for pity or reassurance. I know I will be fine. Eventually, I will find another job and this will be a nightmare of the past. But this experience has really caused me to look internally and ask myself, “what do I want out of life?” Human Resources is all I know, but I feel I am at a crossroad. I am torn because I want to stay true to what I want and deserve, but I also have to be responsible enough to make a rational and logical choice. All of these experiences I have encountered this year alone has really boggled my perspective. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable, yet awakened at the same time. It’s a very uneasy process, but I have to trust it. I have to trust that everything that is taking place in my life is pushing me closer and closer to my purpose. If anyone else can relate to this, just know that it is going to be okay. Nothing makes sense and that’s okay. Know that if it’s never to late to start over, or change your mind. Also know that it is perfectly okay to be scared, or unready to make a choice just yet. There are no rules. There is no time limit. It is all divine timing and what’s meant to be, will be. As I’m writing you this, I am also reminding myself. We got this. Eventually, we will find our way.