career, friendships, social media, workplace

Time to Skidaddle: Leaving an Unfulfilling Job

It’s been a while  since I’ve discussed issues surrounding the workplace and since my personal and professional life tend to move in tandem, it’s time I share my personal tips on knowing when and  how to leave a job.

There are plenty of articles that do a great job of listing signs that it’s time to quit. But what if the stakes are higher than most? What if you have an unwavering spirit? What if, due to your upbringing and socialization, you’ve been taught to accept any job and virtually any treatment because being black, a woman, and employed is a blessing?

In the age of social media and popcorn success stories, many folks are often told to “just quit” if they’re unhappy. “Start a business!” some may say. “It’ll all work out in the end!” But the reality is that being broke is time consuming and a cross people aren’t willing to bear. I can’t speak for everyone else but I personally am unhappy and stressed when I don’t have money. So, what’s a girl to do if she’s unhappy at work and wants to quit?

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Is it the job or is it you?

Development doesn’t come easy and sometimes, being pushed in new and uncomfortable directions is better for you in the long run. It’s called growing pains for a reason. Changing how you view that job can often affect how you approach the job. Maybe the real reason you don’t like the job is because you can’t take the hour and a half lunches that you used to take at your last gig. Maybe at this job, the stakes are high and sometimes that means you eat at your desk while answering emails.

That being said, I knew almost immediately that the job I had wasn’t the right fit. I instantly wanted to quit and was surprised at myself. I am not a quitter. But there I was, analyzing how I’d live on unemployment after just moving to one of the most expensive cities in the nation. I figured I’d be okay if I quit. I had 24 weeks of unemployment benefits to use and a great resume (I do resume reviews, btw). I would bounce back quickly. But I had to first ask myself if it was the job that I hated or my uncomfortable zone.

It’s the job, what next?

Bring your concerns to your manager and be proactive about how you organize your work load. The first is to cover your behind, so that when you do quit, it won’t be “out of the blue”.  It’s also to see if something can be done to make your working environment better. You may be surprised at how receptive management can be to feedback.

The second is so you make the duration of your time there as manageable as possible. The job market is tough and you’ve gotta have a game-plan for how you’re going to deal with that job for a few months as you search. Quitting almost always prevents you from collecting unemployment. Who’s gonna pay your bills?

Who’s in your circle? 

Build a support system of friends, associates, and family members. Being in an unfulfilling job and feeling stuck is a horrible feeling. I was depressed, angry, and had trouble sleeping. My hair started falling out and I gained weight as I tried to snack away the frustration and drink away the irritation.

I sought refuge in tearful calls with my mother and sister. I fervently texted by best friend about the daily microagressions that chipped away at my self esteem. I linked up with young women in the area as they provided a listening ear as I vented. Your tribe of supporters, no matter how big or small, will act as a refuge when you’re at your lowest. Because before you say “it’s just a job,” keep in mind that this job takes up at least 8 hours of your day. That’s 1/3 of your day but really 1/2 because sleeping doesn’t count.

Strategize

Are you willing to take less money? Relocate? Do something completely unlike anything you’ve done before? What is your timeline? What if you quit abruptly?  What does your savings account look like? Don’t overlook the details as you begin searching and interviewing for a new job.

With a plan in motion, you will feel more confident about your exit strategy. I suggest hooking up with a few temp agencies so that you have someone working on your behalf to find job leads for you. It won’t be a permanent role but it will be something that will help tide you over as you look for something better.

Don’t burn bridges

This is the hardest one to keep in mind and in some cases, virtually impossible. Some bosses will hate you for quitting without notice. Some will hate you for quitting with notice. Some work environments are so toxic that you may have to cuss someone out just to advocate for yourself. I get it.

But  if you can, maintain professionalism at all times. Kill them with kindness (or at least, civility). If you’re on an upward track and working in the same industry in the same area, there’s a good chance that you may cross paths with a former employer. And as time passes, they may not remember that you quit abruptly. But they’ll certainly remember if you cursed them out and left in a fit of rage.

But if you must: don’t leave a paper trail. Say what you have to say in person. A nasty email or letter lasts forever.

 

Peace & Love,

Adri

dating, love, relationships

“I’m Not Ready” and Other Lies Men Tell

“Why do women let themselves be taken advantage of?” he asked, as he took another swig of beer.

My friend was pissed. He’d been dating a girl who was beautiful, smart, ambitious, and kind.  And she was stuck on a guy who “wasn’t ready for a relationship”.

I sympathized with him because I, too, have been the girl who fell for the okie doke. But, true to Adri form, I decided to play devil’s advocate.

“Well she told you from jump that she was involved with someone and you decided to pursue it.”

“She’s not involved. She’s getting played.”

And that settled it. 

I’ve been hesitant to write this piece because relationship readiness is a valid concern, and I wanted to be sure that I addressed its nuances while also calling out the BS.

So let’s start with the basics. What is considered being “ready” to be in a relationship?

The Adri Definition: Being ready for a relationship means being in an emotional, personal, financial, and mental space where the individual is prepared to share and accommodate the emotional, personal, financial, and mental space and needs of a specific person.

Some of you may bristle at my inclusion of financial or mental space. Well..
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There are many instances that can prevent someone from being ready for a healthy relationship, and that would take me years to unpack. So I’m going to focus on the case where someone is ready – they’re just not ready  to be with YOU.

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How many times have you or someone you know gotten a few texts like this? Here he is, a guy who seems nice but is in a rough spot because has has a lot going on personally. He’s being honest about his feelings towards this woman and is making it known that he wants to continue to be with her while he works on getting himself together.

No harm, right?

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There is a difference between not being in a place to be the kind of boyfriend and partner he knows he can be and simply not giving a F about the person he’s helping to string along. I say help because it takes two to string: one to pull the rope and one to be dragged.

Just because a man enjoys going out with you, sleeping with you, and flirting with you, it does not make you any more relationship-eligible than someone else. If you’re such a great person and any man would be lucky to have you, then why hasn’t he made himself that man?

If you’re good enough to go out to eat with, lay in bed with, and attend parties with, why aren’t you good enough to be committed to?

A relationship is not like signing a deed to a house, a marriage certificate, or any other legally binding contract. It is simply an agreement to be with a person and only that person (unless you’re poly) while continuing to grow as individuals and as a couple.

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If the man in your life is open to doing everything but calling you his girlfriend, you may want to take a step back and assess the situation. You do not have to work for a man’s attention. You do not have to beg. This is not Grey’s Anatomy and you are not pleading to be “chose”.

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Here’s the secret that men don’t want you to know: If he’s not ready, he’ll get ready. And if he doesn’t, or hits you with intermittent bouts of “we’re better off without a title” then you know what the deal is.

Anything less? Put him back on the bench or cancel him altogether.

Peace & Love,

Adri

 

 

dating, love, relationships, sex, valentine's day

#SecureTheBae : Your 6-week guide to boo loving on Valentine’s Day

You probably read the title of this post and immediately thought “Oh [bleep], Valentine’s Day is 6 weeks away?!”

Time flies when Trump is president – elect.  (By the way, we’re all gonna die.)

Anyways, I’ve written about the joys of being single on Valentine’s Day and I’m a huge proponent of cherishing your own company.

But this post ain’t that. Because let’s face it – while we can enjoy a solo day at the spa, having a tipsy brunch with friends, or the myriad of activities we can get into for the day of love, the reality is that there’s something special about putting on a slip dress and stepping out with bae for a night on the town. (With all drinks on him!)

So what do you do when the day is fast approaching, you want someone to get you a teddy bear, and your phone is drier than Tyrone Biggums’ lips?

Week One: Happy hour, you say?

You gotta go out to be seen and be seen to be taken out. So hit up the happy hours, even if you go to drink one glass of the house red. Get at least two numbers every time you go out. But remember, your likelihood of finding Mr. Right is nearly zero. You’re operating from a space that isn’t conducive to long-term happiness – desperation. Or urgency. I get it, I’ve been there. But don’t get it twisted. Your V-day bae isn’t a keeper. Manage your expectations and collect some digits.

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Week Two: Date nights and swipe right

According to the scholarly reviewed Adri Speaks research study, approximately 1/7 guys actually follow through after the initial number exchange. See why it’s important to get a lot of numbers in week one?  You’ve got to account for attrition.

This week will be about date nights and firing up your dating apps. If you’re reading this and want to get a box of pharmacy chocolates in 6 weeks, leave your pride aside. And that means leaving your ill-conceived notions about online dating to the curb, as well.

Tinder, Bumble, Soul Swipe, Ok Cupid, and Plenty of Fish are all free and all waiting for you.

Just remember, a date should be an outing. If he’s already asking you to come over to his house, he’s cancelled. Doesn’t make a plan and wants to “play it by ear?” Cancelled. Clearly only going out to see if he can see you naked later? Cancelled. Unless, of course, you wanna get naked. Condom.

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Week Three: Dial up the sexy

By this point, you’re probably scheduling another date with two guys and have a texting buddy or two with your online dating flings. Week three is crucial because this is when most people fall off. The guy determines if he feels like burning more gas / spending more cash and you decide if he’s worth your $50 foundation and contour palette.

This is probably the week where you’ve identified one guy that you like more than the others. Turn up the heat. Is there any physical attraction or is he as sexually arousing as a Ken doll?

You know when they say “dress for the job you want”? Well, you’re gonna have to dress for the date you want (right now). For the love of an hourglass figure, flaunt what you’ve got.

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Week Four: No new friends

This is purge week. Get rid of stragglers you don’t like and apply pressure to the ones you do like. At this point, it’s too late to tack on any new guys to the roster so don’t even waste your time. If you’ve done things right, you might even have a date for V day already lined up!

But don’t get rid of everyone and keep your online profiles active.

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Week Five: Murphy’s Law

Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. And week five is when guys may go ghost, pop up with a girlfriend, or reveal some other unsavory character about himself. Week five is recon week. This is the time to dig through your unread texts and messages and muster up a half-assed “sorry I’ve been swamped at work” response. It may not work but it’s worth trying.

But if nothing of the sort happens, great! You should already have plans set.

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Week Six: Basking in the ambiance

Congrats! You’ve completed the guide and it’s Valentine’s week. Now’s a good time to remember that this man is not your boyfriend. He’s a guy who was personable and polite, and who was willing to take you out and help you feel special.

Don’t make it more than what it was.

 

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P&L,

Adri