It was December 2017 when I finally graduated from college. I kissed my youth goodbye and began my search for a career that inspired me and got me out of bed every morning. My fear back then was being stuck in a 9-5 job that I hated. So little old me searched high and low on LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake, Craigslist, you name it. I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to settle until I found it.
Then one day, I found this job listing for an event marketing application. I had little to no knowledge about them but after doing some research, I decided to apply. It was everything I dreamt of and more or so I thought. Fast forward a few weeks later, I got the job and started my journey as a “city manager” creating content for events in Miami for social media. The best part was since the company was headquartered in Tampa, I had the opportunity to work remotely. Some days it was amazing because I would go to different coffee shops, had a flexible schedule and some days it was the worst because I had family visiting and they’d stay with us resulting in a very distracted Cindy.
Later on, as the months went by, I start realizing that my schedule wasn’t all that flexible. I would find myself answering messages and doing work off the clock. The line was always blurred when it came time to separate work and life. I was working even after working an 8-hour day. I was GLUED to my phone 24/7 and it was starting to affect myself, my husband and the people I loved the most. And I would have been okay with this if I was being compensated for the extra time I was working but that wasn’t the case. Regardless, I continued to show up and do my best because I truly loved what I was doing.
As a result, I asked for a raise a few months later. I believed (still believe) that my work and drive spoke for itself and believed in my heart that I deserved it. Plus I was transitioning from a college graduate to soon to be wife/homeowner so the extra income was a necessity. I was so nervous because here’s a 22-year-old girl asking her boss for a raise for the very first time in her life. I wrote down all my talking points and made sure I came from a professional place. Nonetheless, my boss shut the whole thing down very quickly leaving me with no explanation. I was so devasted because again I loved what I was doing but didn’t feel like I was being compensated for my time. So my response to him was something along the lines of “well I have to be honest with you, I will have to start looking for new job opportunities” and that turned him off like a ticking bomb.
Fast forward a few days later, he meets with me and my coworker (who I love dearly till this day) and tells me to train her in my position ultimately preparing for my exit from the company. I knew that business was business and things had to continue so I showed my coworker everything I knew and prepared her as best as I could. Unfortunately, my job search was going well. It had been a few months and I was applying everywhere. Ultimately, my boss gave me no choice but to put in my two weeks’ notice.I wanted to leave professionally and that’s exactly what I did. It took a lot for me to not want to retaliate hence why I’m writing this post almost a year later.
If I could have done ONE thing differently, I wouldn’t have been so honest with my boss. Naturally, I’m very open and honest and some people will take advantage of that. Yet I’m so proud of myself for asking for what I wanted and not settling for less.
So please if there’s one thing you get out of this, do not DO NOT settle for anything less than what you deserve. This goes for work, relationships, anything in life. I think you need to have an honest talk with yourself, come from an objective place and ask “am I doing a good job?” or “do I deserve this raise?”.
And a little life update, most of you know I think but after months of searching, my friend was able to get me a job with FIU’s College of Business. It’s been hard work and even though, I’m nowhere near where I want to be, I’m closer than I was before.
Love you guys. Until next time!