I’ve never been a negative person. In fact, I’ve always been proud to be described as optimistic, upbeat, and positive. Phrases like“ It will all work out” and “Everything happens for a reason” were my mottos. I would have never thought I’d let a job change this about me, but for almost 2 years I let what I do turn me into someone I didn’t want to be.

After graduating in May 2010, I found myself relatively confident that I would find a job. This is how positive I was! Even with the constant reminders of the bad economy and high unemployment rate, I decided that something would have to come up. After all, I had plenty of experience, I interned, got good grades, why wouldn’t someone hire me?

Ten or twelve interviews later I started to get pretty anxious. Nothing seemed to be working out and I was all set to move into a new apartment and needed to find a way to support myself.  I was really down to the wire and ready to admit defeat when I was offered a position in accessories sales. Even though I was dying to find a job, I was hesitant because I never thought I would work in sales. It really wasn’t something I saw for myself and was also having reservations about the company that I would be working for. In the end, I took the job out of fear that nothing else would come. At the time, it seemed like the right and logical thing to do.

Turns out, not such a good idea. I found out very quickly that this company was not were I should be. The position, the company culture, the hours, the people, none of it agreed with me.  I don’t want to get too specific but let me just tell you; it was a very hostile and catty working environment. The worst part was that everyone around me was so negative and miserable, that I started to believe that being negative and miserable was just a part of having a job. I worked tirelessly but was still put down constantly. I felt under appreciated, over-worked and under paid every single day. In a nutshell, I was miserable.

So two months later, as I was getting increasingly unhappy with my situation, I started the lovely process of applying to jobs again. I went on some interviews but they were even more stressful & frustrating than before. Stressful, because my company was very strict about leaving the office and every time I had an interview I had to make up an elaborate story about why I needed to leave and then rush to the interview and rush back to the office. Frustrating, because I had to explain why I was so unhappy at my current job after only 2 months.

 Interview after interview, nothing was working out and I was growing increasingly unhappy at my job. I was stick of applying and I was sick of interviewing and getting my hopes up just to find out I didn’t get the job. I was in a rut and even with amazing friends and family supporting and encouraging me, it didn’t seem like anything they could say would get me positive about my career.

A few months ago, I was at my friend’s apartment and saw the Holstee manifesto on a poster. A few lines down it read:” If you don’t like your job, quit.” Such a simple line yet so significant and meaningful to me at the time. I immediately felt better about my situation; it was like I finally discovered a solution to what was making me so unhappy, a solution that was right in front of me the whole time. I may not have had a plan at that point, but it was then that I decided that I was absolutely quitting my job and I would figure out how to make money in the meantime.

I ended up quitting a few weeks later and never felt so relived in my whole life! It was like weight I had been carrying for 2 years was finally lifted.

I’m happy to report that I’m currently working for a new company and am turning back to my positive self, one day at a time. Looking back, it’s pretty funny that it took this poster for me to finally realize how ridiculous it was to be doing something that made me so unhappy. It finally got me out of my rut and gave me the courage to take control of my situation and believe that I deserved to be happy.

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Every month we select at few writers to help us explore what it means to live a life of reflection and intention. Reach out to Helen, our editor at Helen.W@holstee.com to learn more

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