Knowing When To Move On, In Work and In Life

Blood, Sweat, and Tears — it doesn’t require much explanation. When I decide to move forward with something, I move full steam ahead. I am the most loyal, dependable, unbreakable force that will dedicate my life to you, literally. Hobbies, what’s that? Sleep is for the weak, 50+ hour workweeks are the norm, and I’ve even gone as far as alienating my own relationship and those I love all in the name of living the “American Dream,” moving my way up the corporate ladder, and trying to have it all.

When you’re competing for jobs that are a dime a dozen, especially when you’re new to the industry, you have to set yourself apart from the rest and this was the best way I knew how.

For most of my career, I’ve been the sole HR person keeping the well oiled machine of every company I’ve happened to be a part of humming and running without any issues. Operations, Recruiting, Benefits, Performance Management, Offer Letters, Terminations, Reporting, Onboarding, Immigration, Employee Relations, Implementations, etc. — you name it, I’ve done it and can fix the kitchen sink if needed to.

Most of my learning in the professional world has been self-taught. Having little to no experience, I was given the opportunity to work on projects with limited guidance. I am self-driven and always felt confident to take on any challenge and conquer the beast of issues that lay ahead of me. I successfully built my repertoire of sought after skills, experience, and projects that set me apart from my competition as I began to move into the world of HR.

In retrospect and eight years later, I’m grateful for the experiences that have led me to where I am today, but I know I could have been a lot farther in my career had I listened to my gut instinct.

In one form or another, I knew I’ve committed too much of myself when I started to:

  • Lose my sense of who I was — There were never enough hours in a day to get all the work done that needed to be completed. I brought my frustrations and anxiety wherever I went and couldn’t disconnect. I was your Debbie Downer, no one wanted to be around me and others always walked on eggshells whenever I was around. It became so bad that weekly and sometimes daily arguments with my significant other became common place since I didn’t sleep much anyway.
  • Physical and Mental Health Started To Be Affected — On a couple of occasions, I can recall breaking out in hives due to the amount of stress that came along with going into work the next day, so much so that I started having to take medication to temper my reactions so I could continue working. I refused to take any time off work and just kept moving forward. Eye circles so black started accumulating under my eyes that no amount of cover up could hide my condition. My focus and clarity on being able to handle simple issues took too much time as my mind became cloudy with all the years of worry, anxiety, and lack of taking care of myself that I started moving towards a downward spiral of self-destruction.
  • Lie to Myself That This is What I’ve Always Wanted — “No pain, no gain,” and “Never Giving Up,” were personal mottos I lived by. I always justified my current situation, no matter how bad it got by keeping my eye on the prize. The longer I stayed, the more I had to spend time covering up what I was really feeling and find ways to ignore what my real “self,” was trying to tell me.

Looking back at all the accomplishments and sacrifices I made to get where I’m at today, I know that I will never ever let anyone or anything ever get in the way of stopping to listen to what my heart is telling me. I will always make time to breathe and listen to those who deeply care about me. The signs were so obvious, that I now realize I was addicted to my job — it was my drug of choice and I continually work on setting boundaries, being self-aware, and allowing myself to simply be happy by focusing on other things outside of my career.