I’d done a really clever thing, or so I thought. I wanted a particular job, in a specific industry, in a fabulous location and I’d searched every publication, every agency, every website and couldn’t find the dream job advertised – there had to be a way through this door and I wasn’t prepared to wait for the door to open for me – I concluded that I would have to knock.
I knocked – I wrote the most beautifully crafted letter selling my skills and knowledge enclosed my CV and sent it off to a handful of the places I fancied working at and guess what?
✅The door opened!
✅I went for an interview and got the dream job.
That’s the good news.
Now for the bad news.
This job was not all that I’d thought it was going to be, of course it wasn’t!
The work itself was what I had expected, the industry lived up to my expectations, the setting was beyond fabulous but what I hadn’t factored into my dream life was being bullied by my line manager. It came as a shock. I’d been all through school, college, university and my first few jobs always getting along just fine thank you. Any people I didn’t get on with were easily avoided, I’d been lucky enough to be in friendship groups where I hadn’t been witness to any negative behaviour directed at others, some might say I was naive.
It happened subtly at first. Unfair distribution of duties, strange shift patterns, odd breaktimes and lunchtimes and being put onto rotas without any of my peers. Over time it became more obvious, being kept late to sort out other peoples financial errors, not being given overtime hours, and delegated to jobs involving sole-destroying tasks.
I carried on, ‘cos, y’know, it was a job I really wanted after all. I didn’t even complain on the day I was trapped in a corridor, poked in the chest, pinned up against the wall and shouted at. in. my. face…I actually felt the spit land on my cheek!
Nope, didn’t even think to mention it to HR either. Why? Why, didn’t I do something, why did I allow someone to treat me like that?
Looking back, I think self-esteem was the issue, I had been subject to a long campaign of hate, I had been ground-down to such an extent that I hadn’t noticed my confidence slip away. I didn’t feel that I was being treated in a way that was awful, because it was all part of my ‘normal’ life. Even now I hate it if someone shouts at me (OK, I realise that no one actually likes being shouted at) but I REALLY hate it.
What did I do? I devised an escape plan and I followed it through. On the shouty/spitty day I knew I had to leave my ‘dream’ job because it had become nothing more than a living nightmare.
I look back on it now and I have no idea why I stayed so long but I recognise that the experience taught me a thing or two about resilience and having a Plan B.
What experience have you had that has taught you to be more resilient?