Podcast. Take Two.

So……I started another podcast. The last one I started Not Sufficient for Work was very short lived. And when I say short lived, I mean one episode. A week after I started the podcast, I started teaching at a high school and I definitely couldn’t afford for my employer or my students to get a hold of it. 

The current podcast Corporate America: I’ve Had Enough of You is based on my second book of the same title. Just like the last time, I began with very little experience creating a podcast. Lately I’ve been on a podcast binge and kept hearing the same messages about the Anchor app which was user friendly for a person like me to use with little to no equipment. Writing books and blogs was much easier but I saw this as a new opportunity to challenge myself creatively. 

It’s been three years since the book was published. My story resonated with and inspired so many people to prioritize their mental health, which for some, meant quitting their jobs. 

Now here I am three years later with those same “fuck this job” feelings about my current job. It seems to be a recurring theme in my work life which is slowly but surely leading me to believe that the reason I’ll continue to have these issues in the workplace isn’t because people really suck at leadership. It’s not because communication from the top down is ass. It damn sure isn’t because diversity initiatives are including more black faces in their company photos but not actually in leadership roles (because we know that that will never change.)

Deep down I know that I’m supposed to be working for myself. Doing what exactly? I still haven’t narrowed it down. Whatever it is, I’m sure it is a combination of writing, education and mental health. But until then, I’ve been focusing on getting the bills paid the old school way.

I don’t know if it’s because of the pandemic or divine timing but lately I’ve been feeling like my book was ahead of its time and that the time is NOW to revamp my efforts in its promotion. 

For the first time in my life (after recording the first episode) I actually loved my recorded voice. I also couldn’t use my favorite excuse that I wasn’t tech savvy. I recorded the episode from a voice memo in my bathroom. I cut out all the bullshit excuses and did that shit.

The Corporate America: I’ve Had Enough of You podcast is a space for me to share the experiences that shaped my book, my current work life and a safe place for other black women to share their similar experiences.

Check out both episodes here. Review, rate and share. Thanks!

Corporate America: I’ve Had Enough of You Podcast

Making Moves After 5

Guess who’s still thugging it out without being in the claws of Corporate America?

 

Me.

 

Let me tell you. It’s rough. I thought that I was prepared but not nearly as much as I needed to be. Luckily I’ve got all of the right people encouraging me to continue pursuing my dream despite what the bank account says.

 

For those of you that are still pushing through the hustle, bustle and bullshit of corporate spaces, stay strong. And by stay strong I mean keep yourself motivated enough to plot your escape!

 

Until you stop spending 40 hours working toward someone else’s goals and not your own, you’ll continue to be unhappy.

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I’m serious. Regardless of how drained and burnt out you are, take a few minutes to work on your own passions…..otherwise you’ll continue to stay on the carousel.

 

Make moves after 5!

 

I don’t want to preach so I’ll keep it brief. Hopefully these 3 tidbits of advice replay in your head more than the JG Wentworth jingle.

 

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Write it down

I know. It’s all in your head. What happens if you get distracted by a phone call? Then it’s the “what did I just come up with” conversation with yourself. 9 times out of 10, the bright idea will come back to you when you’re in the shower yet again without a pen or paper in sight. Write it down…….the first time. You could literally be “forgetting” a million dollar idea that could change the trajectory of your life.

 

Chip away at it

I never said that it had to be done all in one day. If you’re a person like me that tries to force themselves to do something, you’ll do it but it won’t necessarily be as gratifying that it would if you did it organically. Start small. Eventually you’ll get to a place where it consumes you. Then you’ll be struggling to focus even while you’re at work like I did.

 

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Connect

Network with those folks that have done what you want to do. Don’t know where to start? Google! YouTube!

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Social media is one hell of a storehouse of information. Or maybe you’re a people person. Take advantage of the networking opportunities that your job offers. Everyone only comes for the free drinks anyway.

 

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Once you’ve done all of that. Repeat.

I Ain’t Got No Job Man

7/31/18

Today started out as a regular day. I dreaded hearing the alarm clock, repeated my affirmations, hit the bathroom and prepared to walk Milo. Our walk was like any other day with Milo ignoring the conversation that I tried to have with him. I got dressed and went to work on what I would have thought to be a normal stressful day. My colleagues trickled in as per usual and we all got settled into our routine.

And then it started again.

More emails. Back and forth. If I had to guesstimate, I probably said “what the fuck” at least three hundred times. I was still struggling to understand why I seemed to be this week’s target for pettiness. What had I done to deserve such attention. Apparently I started to wear down on my higher up to the point where she simply walked over to explain what was intended in the 700,000 emails that were sent. Again I felt my pot starting to boil. Under normal conditions I’m an advocate for eye contact. In this particular encounter I deliberately avoided it. I guess it had more to do with her standing over me while explaining herself. Nevertheless she finished and went back into the comforts of her office space. All was quiet on the department front until I received an email with the work I had completed being sent up the ladder (a normal process). The difference is that within this email, she decided to single out each and every mistake that I made as well.

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I looked to see if my HR rep was available on Skype. She wasn’t. So I proceeded to go to my car, get the biggest TJ Maxx bag I could find, come upstairs and began packing my shit. My colleagues asked if I was leaving. Yes. Today? Yes. Right now? Yup. They understood. Supposedly this wasn’t their first encounter with the OCD micromanagement either but I had had enough. I’ve been doing a phenomenal job at keeping my depression and anxiety at bay. It was rearing it’s ugly head again. Three years with no panic attacks and I could feel them coming on again. Clearly, it was this job and it had to go.

It took two trips to get everything down. Once I got done packing I walked to my team members and bid them farewell. I knew my energy would be missed. Each asked if I had a plan and my response was simple. No but I trust that if I fall, the universe will catch me. I even told my boss bye. She said bye and asked where I was going. I simply kept walking, head held high singing Lil Duval’s hit Smile (Best Life). Not only did I find it humorous for the occasions but also perfectly fitting.

**I started a manuscript about my journey so stay tuned**

And that’s how my day went.

I wanted so desperately to be afraid or to be sad that I was leaving the comforts of a hefty salaried position. Nada. I was more relieved to get as far away as possible from the 8-5+ life as possible (because its never truly 8-5).

In my reflection, I got to thinking, depending on the dollar signs, I think we quickly forget how truly priceless we are, how pertinent our health is and honestly how disposable and replaceable we really are to giant corporations.

This first full week of freedom was full of support, surprises and adventures and I was reminded of a few things.

1. You are not alone

I was amazed at how many people on my social media platforms shared my sentiments in being fed up. Many had been suffering for much longer than I have. A few people commented and messaged me about my bravery. Even more people were in disbelief about me leaving such a high ranking position. Most importantly people were and are still wondering, what the hell I am going to do to pay the bills.The truth is I’m still figuring it out. I have quite a few ideas though. I wish that I could bottle up this feeling of happiness and freedom and give it to everyone that feels burdened by these crappy positions.

2. Sometimes you gotta adjust the lens

I’ve been a resident of Greensboro NC for nine years now but on Friday I explored it as if it were my first time visiting. After getting a few tasks completed at the public library, I decided to leave my car parked and venture out by foot. I was able to try lunch at Cafe Europa for the first time, choosing to dine outside in solitude with my notebook…….

and visited a “Herstory” exhibit at the Greensboro Cultural Center……

where I also discovered a podcasting studio

I felt like a kid that skipped school with my backpack on walking the sidewalks. There were soooooooo many people out and about.

3. Don’t be afraid to try something new

I tried tofu…….it was gross

I had a tarot card reading………it was confirmation that I’m on the right path

I experienced my first reiki healing session…….I’m still amazed at how much baggage that I didn’t know I was still carrying from the past

I took my first online coaching masterclass…….I’ll be updating this site to include information for the coaching services that I offer

I was the canvas for a fantasy makeup competition…….first place of course

4. Love always wins

I had the pleasure of being the hostess for the wedding of two good friends. I don’t think that I’ll ever stop being a lover of love.

Love always wins literally and figuratively. As long as you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life said every successful person ever that was pursuing these passions.

5. The Universe is aligning things in my favor

This isn’t my fourth affirmation by chance. All of the resources that I’ve been needing are falling directly into my lap. My creativity has been in overdrive and I’m finding it harder and harder to keep up with everything being sent in my direction.

While I don’t expect everyone reading this to pack up and leave the dungeons as I did, I do hope that you find my story inspiring. Remember, your mental health should always come first.

Subject: Corporate While Black: Things to Keep in Mind

I’ve worked in Corporate America for the past four plus years, and let me tell ya, it ain’t for the faint at heart, for ANYONE. For me as a black woman, I have had my fair share of not so pleasurable experiences in comparison to that of my black male counterparts. How can I be confident in saying this? Because I ask them. If there is a black person in sight from the parking lot to my desk, the minimum is a hell. I’m exceptionally happy to see other black faces joining me in elevators, at work socials and in passing with the signature “another one of us….we made it” head nod.

So what’s the issue?

Staying true to myself while ensuring that I don’t get fired. Following chains of command. Not replying to emails in all caps saying how I really feel. You know. Stuff like that.

And on to

Point Number 1: It’s going to hurt for certain people to talk to you *cough cough (the blatant and closet racists)

Working in an industry dominated by middle and upper aged white men, who the hell do I think I am correcting them? A woman? A black woman at that? I mean it’s still the 1950’s right? Listen, people die. Their ideas don’t. Racism continues to thrive in corporate spaces. It’s passed down and continued through generations of leadership. Don’t believe me? If your company has a website or announcement board highlighting organizational changes, look to see how many people look like you in comparison to those that don’t. See anything strange? Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the diversity initiatives that have magically started springing up all over the place. Are they truly diverse or does it simply sound appeasing?

Point Number 2: When you’re right, it’s a big deal

All those “I’s” better be dotted along with all of those “t’s” being crossed baby. The “I’ve been with this company for 300 years” retorts are coming fully loaded. Carefully reminding your counterparts of policies and procedures has and always will be a sore spot for them.

Point Number 3: When you’re wrong, it’s a big deal

So you forgot to dot those “I’s” and cross those “t’s” didn’t you?

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Dammit Gina! I told you to make sure that you were one point! I TOLD YOU!!!

Point Number 3: There is plenty of power but apparently not enough to go around

Yep. You heard it right. There is a (not so secret) rival for dominance that “we” aren’t apart of. Once again, it’s the “I’ve been with the company for 300 years” folks versus the “my daddy runs xyz departments.” It’s quite the spectator sport. It can get ugly, so steer clear.

If you get the privilege of (or by accident) getting cc’d on the email exchanges, grab a cup of tea and/or popcorn. Below is a minor breakdown of what a few phrases really mean.

To Whom it May Concern = First of all

Per attached emails/see string of emails below = I got proof

Any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact me = DON’T. I said what I said and that’s the end of the discussion

Best regards = fuck you very much

These emails are better than paternity episodes on Maury!

Point Number 4: You will intimidate some folks just based on the color of your skin. Everything is magnetized. Abuse of power is likely.

Tone. Somehow, some way your tone can be taken out of context 80% of the time. Apparently black women are naturally angry and aggressive? Whisper. You sound like you have upset. Blink. You have an attitude. Need I say more? Heaven forbid you breathe out loud during a meeting!

The same applies to body language.

And speaking of bodies……….what you wear MATTERS.

Always has. Always will. Black women come in all beautiful shapes, curves and sizes with all kinds of hips and dips. I’m super mindful about what I wear into the office because of this. I’m teetering on being shaped like Megan Good. Professional body con dresses are always problematic. Along with pencil skirts. High waisted slacks. Burlap sacks. Y’all get my point. Play it safe by being familiar with and always following the employee handbook guidelines as best as possible. That way, when you’re “reprimanded” you can just refer them to Section 10 paragraph 5.

See a real live example of how what we wear matters.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/african-american-reporter-takes-stand-after-body-shaming-n817621

Crazy right?

Despite the negatives, there are some positives in this conversation.

For starters.

It’s possible to make good connections

I’ve met and had conversations with some pretty dope people from the top down. Despite being a cutthroat environment, there are folks that want you (us millennials) to excel, bring change and challenge the status quo. These folks are on a case by case basis. Nobody’s titles matter in elevators, at coffee pots, in the work gym or cafeteria lines. I’ve been presented a multitude of opportunities just from being myself and having casual conversations. To help you even further weed out the good apples from the bad ones, if you really want to know how people are, have conversations with the receptionists, janitorial staff and IT personnel. They know.

Figure out your “why” and don’t let it die

Unless your goal is to own the company you work for someday, you must keep your “why” in mind. Let’s take mine for example. I work in Corporate America because the things that I want to do with my life requires a salary that (so far) Corporate America can provide. There are huge things that I have in store for Pretty Dope Right and they ain’t cheap!

I grind because I’m the only person fully supporting my platform. My goal is to cut out the middle man whenever possible. I taught myself how to create and maintain this website but moving forward, I’ll be converting it from a blog to a business site. I’ll have startup costs for the business aspect. I can hear the dollar signs in my head. My why is what drives me to get up every day and work 40 hours on someone else’s dream.

I seriously hope you can’t relate.