My experience at a corporate job
When I graduated from UNT, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to find a job. Especially a job that had anything to do with creative writing. I was well aware of the stigma of being an English major (with a concentration in creative writing). “Do you want to be a teacher?”, “oh you want to be a writer, huh?”. The snarky comments about how I was never going to make any money. Money doesn’t drive me. I don’t ever want money to be the only reason why I exist.
That’s beside the point. As soon as I graduated, it took me about 3 months to land my first corporate job. In the meanwhile, I was working with UberEats (still here, yay!). If you want to know all about the fun things I do with UberEats, I’ll be writing (or talking) about it. If you want a quick snip it, here is my LinkedIn spiel. In November 2016, I started working for Rediform. I was hired as a marketing assistant.
YAY! New job
What a cool opportunity, I thought. I had limited experience in the marketing world. My experience in marketing was as an editorial assistant for a content marketing company. I interned at D Magazine Partners, you can read about that here, and here. I might even write about it on my own blog someday.
The first couple of weeks were fine. I made tons of copies, inputed sample requests, and e-mailed sales reps about their requests. The pay was good, but I was so unhappy. I felt unaccomplished, and like I was waisting my time. Yes, my time. I get that companies like to call it “company time”, but guess what, you don’t own me. You pay me to do my job. If I’m not doing my job — fire me. Simple, right?
I got through the first couple of weeks. Bored out of my mind. I knew the first week I was there that I wanted to quit. However, I didn’t validate my feelings. I kept going. Then came the big project. The rep kits. I worked a project that wasn’t ever explained to me very well. My biggest sentiment the whole time I was getting chewed out about not asking questions was, “how am I supposed to know what I need to ask?”.
The marketing VP gave me a set of samples I needed to pull, they gave me the addresses the kits needed to go to, and they said I needed to send it to each sales rep the week of their meeting. I did just that. I asked how the process was supposed to flow, and followed the instructions given to me. “The sample kits are priority”. I made them my priority. Arriving to the office at 6:00-6:30 am and leaving at 8:00 pm. My success or failure with the project did not depend on me. Did I mention I had been with the company for a whopping 5 weeks?
I still hadn’t fully comprehended the lingo that was being used. How was I supposed to prepare the rep kits, along with the “literature” aka printing flyers for 80+ sales reps all by myself? Most of the information I needed was not sent to me. I was not even aware I needed it until the week I was sending the kits out. Filling, packaging, and lifting 20+ pound boxes for each rep by myself. I didn’t need a “good job!” but I know I didn’t deserve a chew out.
Earlier that week I had made up my mind that I was going to give my two weeks notice. My back was killing me from all the lifting and bending. All I thought about outside of work was work. Plus, I was always so tired. I was still ok with dealing with all the work, but the deciding factor was that I wasn’t happy. Being fulfilled at work is important, and I wasn’t being fulfilled. I felt like I was waisting my time.
The final straw?
On Friday, I asked my supervisor if it was ok to leave an hour early. I had completed the project. Explaining to her that I came in an hour early, and that I hadn’t taken a lunch break. “We are not that kind of company. Just because you work overtime doesn’t mean you can leave when you want”. Did I mention that I wasn’t getting compensated for all the overtime I worked? I didn’t even take a lunch break the first 2 weeks of January because I wanted to successfully, and smoothly complete the rep kits.
After the conversation I had with my supervisor, I knew what kind of company I was working for. A company who clearly just cares about themselves. Done. I was so done. Who wants to work for a company like that? Not me. That Friday I quit. I was no longer comfortable with going back to work for a company who was already unimpressed with the work that I was putting in.
They even asked my co-worker if she thought I was doing my job well. She told them that I was doing great, and putting in a lot of effort and time. The supervisors response? “Oh I just don’t think she’s going to make it”. Natalie (the supervisor) was right, I didn’t “make it”. I put myself first, and my own dreams and goals first. I valued my time, my mental and physical health. It sounds so millennial and that’s ok.
I feel free. I’m excited to start my days. I am slowly working towards where I want to be. My advice? If you can, follow your dreams. Take a leap of faith. Don’t be afraid to look out for yourself.