It’s no secret that our lives have changed drastically in the last few years. Between how we work, how we feel about work, fulfilling our purpose, and finding a way to navigate a current paradigm with what is coming. Sometimes it feels like I’m in an abusive relationship with my job. I’ve had a lot to navigate in my life the last few weeks with my mother, my child, my husband, my job, and my side gigs and I discussed it with my boss. Initially she was incredibly supportive of the personal situation and she even offered flexibility with my schedule as before. I felt instant relief because of the craziness that has been going on. A few days later she told me that she had some concerns about the teams and the hours we’ve been working. This isn’t the first time I’ve been caught in this situation and it’s always the same: the support is there…and then it is not.
There was one particular conversation that stood out for me and it was when my boss told me, “We work in a 24/7 industry and we may just need to demonstrate more flexibility with our time. People have been working in very set hours and they think that is enough. We may need to look at alternatives like weekends and longer hours.” Keep in mind this was followed up with her requesting the new attendance policy. And side note, this is why people are leaving the work force en masse–we are told we have freedom but need to live how someone else tells us. So please explain to me how we can have this shift in a few days? Again, this isn’t the first time it has happened, and as painful as it is to be bounced back and forth, I wasn’t entirely surprised. And I know that this conversation is highlighting something for me in my personal life, the circle coming around again: I need to prioritize what I need to be doing in MY life and not living my life for someone else’s gain.
I had an epiphany as I was struggling to find care for my child: I’m working to prioritize a job that would replace me in two seconds (and if I’m honest, is probably actively trying to do that now) in order to give up more time with my kid. When I know I’ve worked sick, I’ve worked with broken bones, when my kid has been sick, when I’ve been so mentally exhausted I couldn’t remember where I needed to be. I had been hoping this job would take care of me because that is what I was told would happen. The reality is they want me to bleed for them when they won’t lift a finger for me. I’m trying to move my life around to support this place. The reality is my job needs me and I’ve forgotten that. I’m working to support my life therefore my job supports my lifestyle- it doesn’t need to be my life supporting my job.
We need to remember why we work. I bought into what I was told would happen by getting a “secure” job in the medical field. Depending on what side you’re on, you are replaceable. That is a shitty feeling for anyone. I’m not even talking about looking for validation, I’m talking about the fact that if someone doesn’t like you, they will actively try to kick you out like some high school clique. The goal in life is to become who we are and celebrate that and to fulfill our purpose, it isn’t to work ourselves to death for someone else’s goal. We need to learn to believe in ourselves more than we believe in what we are sold. Remember where your power is—it’s in your hands. It’s in your soul and you know it. Don’t let some place dictate your worth or manipulate your emotions. We are all worth more than that. We deserve more than that—you work to support your LIFE, not to ask permission to live. Support your life and your dreams—you don’t need permission to like what you do, you don’t need permission to go for what works for you, and you don’t need permission to set the boundary to stop something if it is toxic to you. Throw that crap out! Do what calls to you and remember: you call the shots.