hi

Hi everyone. It’s me again, Laila. Remember me? Of course you do! Here I am! See? Right here.

Where have I been? Well at work of course!

But you’ve already been working kinda, (you say, with a shrug of your shoulder).

Yes, yes well I have, but I went back and got a big girl job again.

You DID? (you ask surprised, because you just saw my post where I showed you how crazy I was, in Paint).

Yes I DID. In fact, had I not gone bonkers and quit my job, found a part time job at the city, and got a part time job at a local swanky restaurant by my house, I wouldn’t have THIS job. In fact, the reason I have this job is because of the serving job I had!

Confused? Okay – quick timeline:

– After five years, I quit my job as a policy wonk for a councilmember in 2008. I wanted to be in affordable housing but because it was one of the policies I worked on and I didn’t want there to be a perceived conflict of interest, I decided to leave.

– I had a trip planned to South America for the month following when I quit. My quitting time sucked however because the bottom dropped out of the economy. Before leaving for my trip, I got an internship at a hot little PR firm that I had been wanting to intern at anyway. I worked at the PR place for three months, but didn’t like working with fembots.

– I started working for a small business owner 3 months later.

– I launched the owner’s new company and managed specialty contracting projects (very well I may add) despite my lack of contracting experience.

– The owner paid me nothing and was a total dirtbag, so I quit after three years.

– This time, I promised myself that I would hold out for what I really wanted. In the meantime, I got an internship at the planning department at the city I used to work at. While I was essentially these peoples’ bosses’ bosses’ bosses’ boss (you get the picture), I swallowed my pride and dove right into the internship so I could get in front of my old colleges. I also took a little job at a local swanky wine bar restaurant near my house.

I live in an urban neighborhood, close to downtown and recently redeveloped enough in areas to bring a cool, urban crowd. It’s still old enough to have a good amount of history, too. I love our neighborhood, and a lot of people from my city job either live in the area, or hang out in it. That’s how cool my neighborhood is.

Anyway, so when I quit, I realized I could basically work both part-time jobs and (mainly from the serving job) make almost as much money as I was making on salary. Now you’re probably thinking, I either made really crappy money at my last job, or really good money at the  serving job. It’s a little bit of both.

So there I was on a Friday night serving tables, when two of my old colleagues walked in. At first I was embarrassed. This happens often, because not only do my old colleagues come to my neighborhood, but they come to this particular restaurant bar a lot, too.

But then I sucked it up. I’ve actually had to do that a lot as of late. Everyone thought I was totally crazy to have quit a job in this economy. I could tell they (my dad, sister, in-laws) were thinking, “Even if it was paying nothing, I had a dirtbag boss, and I was stressed out to high heaven, a job is a job.”

I whole-heartedly disagree.

Everyone worried and rung their hands. I could hear it in their voices. None of them actually told me I was crazy. My husband most of all; he just hung in there and said he was happy I got out of there because I was obviously miserable.

So I took a huge risk and quit. Only this time, I decided I would stick to my guns and not apply to everything. No sir (or dad, or sister, or in-laws who doubted me), I will NOT be working for another total jerkwad. I will not settle on a low salary just because I need a job. I will simply not settle.

And sure enough, my old coworkers saw me and immediately thought of an opening they had heard about. Better yet, it was at the one organization that I had wanted to work at since leaving my city job – almost four years ago. Even though the job posting had already been taken down, my network helped me get in there, beat 50 other people that applied, and snag that job. It’s mine – awesome salary, benefits for hubby and I, and an awesome compressed work schedule that gives me every other Friday off. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ll keep the restaurant job to once a week, just so I can replenish part of the savings I went through during my “time off.”

But boy oh boy am I a happy girl.

I guess the morale of the story is….life is too short to be miserable. I always envied other people for sticking to their convictions and doing what is right for them. I finally got to my wits end and felt like I had no choice but to do what was right for me.  And had I not been working at a stupid restuarant for goodness sakes, where everyone wondered why I would put aside almost a decade of professional career path to serve people wine and cheese, I wouldn’t have gotten the damn job in the first place. I stuck to my guns and now I’m good to go.

Suck it naysayers. I love you. But you can suck it 🙂

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