I have admittedly been in a funk for the past two weeks, and as I've been complaining about my lot in life to Andrew, he sent me the following Touchstones meditation:
"I always entertain great hopes."
"In our honest journey, we must admit life is often difficult and painful. But these facts do not describe all of life, and they do not determine how we respond. Surrendering to despair, we trade the uncertainty of options for the certainty of gloom. But life isn't filled only with difficulty and pain. It is also filled with people whose dignity and spirit rise above their circumstances.
My own experience gives me great hope in what can be."
Man, did I need that today. Because today, I quit my job after only three weeks of work...
Normally, when people talk about “culture” in companies, it seems such an academic diatribe to me. And as I sit around the table drinking wine with my millennial peers, I often roll my eyes when they talk about wanting freedom from their oppressive bosses and recognition and praise for their rock star performances at work. I think to myself, “Get over yourself already. You aren’t that special. They aren’t that bad. Suck it up and do the job.” But today, as I leave the office after telling my new boss and company CEO that there is not a fit, I realize that I may be more of a millennial than I originally thought.
Finding the right fit - in love, in work, in life - among those you surround yourself with is probably one of the most important searches and decisions one can make in life. This existence is so short, and we can only make the most of it by finding a way to make our heart sing while plugging in to a larger culture that we can sincerely vibe with. Only then can we make our most meaningful contributions to our tribe.
I have struggled more than once in finding the right culture fit for myself in corporations. And I recognize that I am an odd duck. I love to tinker. To challenge. To question everything in the hopes of making the product stronger. I value real talk, difficult conversations, and intellectual honesty. I’ve only learned this after really having my values questioned in recent years, but they have become the cornerstone of my existence.
And I need a voice. Not just the voice to offer my own opinions. But the ability to offer a voice to those who work with and for me. I can only make my greatest contribution when I know that my team can individually make theirs.
And so, after only three weeks on the job and one week in the office, I have decided to walk away. I realize the hit this may take on my resume, my LinkedIn profile and my relationships with the leaders of the company I’ve just recently begun to build. And if I were giving myself advice, I’d say that this action seems extreme, irresponsible and petulant.
But after traveling these past six months, I’ve really begun to learn that authentic relationships, trust and support are too important to me. I can’t allow myself to compromise those values, no matter how big the paycheck or how prominent the company or role. I can only support those people and missions that I believe in, respect, and align with. And I’m just not the right fit for this project.
Rather than feeling fear or embarrassment, I wear this decision with pride. I have so many opportunities to pursue and feel such overwhelming confidence in my future and for my prospects. I feel free.
And I write this today because I have had so many conversations over the course of 2016 with those of you who feel dissonance with your fit. Whether that be with your lover, your friends, your lifestyle or your career. And when we talk, I can feel your stress and apprehension about taking the next step. Taking the risk. And I can only say, from the bottom of this Kentucky-girl’s heart, that we are in this pursuit together.
This experience gives me great hope in what can be.