For the purposes of this post, I’m defining fearless as “resilient, unhindered, and determined.”
For the past few years, I have worked in the community-based segment of the mental health field. If you’ve read my tweets or blog posts recently, you’ve probably gathered that I’ve been fed up with community mental health; more specifically, with my job. Today I’m opening up about the nonsense that went down at the close of 2018 and how I emerged fearless!
For context, it’s worth mentioning that I was laid off back in May from a community-based agency. The agency’s income wasn’t able to sustain my position.
I immediately found a new position with the same salary and worked at that agency until the end of December when I was laid off again for the same reason. But we’ll get to that later.
Let’s talk about the workplace bullying for a minute. From working at various agencies over the years, I’ve noticed that agency owners are on their best behavior for about the first 3 months before they start to show their true colors. Around September, the honeymoon phase of my new position was over and the bulls?!% began. I was being asked to stretch the truth in order to increase the client numbers/profits. When I refused and resisted these unethical expectations, I became a target. I was verbally insulted in staff meetings, singled out, and even formally reprimanded. No joke, they wrote me up and docked my pay because I refused to falsify a document.
This was a lot to manage, especially for an introvert prone to anxiety. By November, I was having regular panic attacks during the work week. I planned to endure this hostile work environment until this month, which is when I would complete my counseling residency and test for my counseling license.
Three weeks prior to meeting that goal, I returned from my Christmas vacation to find out that I was being laid off without severance pay…
Where do I go from here?
I predicted the layoff prior to leaving for my vacation. I saw the client numbers dropping and the desperation and greed of the owner increasing.
Fortunately for me, I’m a planner and had discussed my concerns about possible layoff with my licensure supervisor in advance. When the layoff occurred, we were able to come up with a plan for me to complete my residency by January 21st with no delay in my original plan.
Though I had planned to resign from my job at the completion of the residency, being laid off actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Because I was laid off, I qualify for unemployment benefits! If I would have resigned as planned, I wouldn’t have this safety net. Receiving a regular check is great since I plan to take my licensure test very soon and to immediately launch my therapy practice.
So yeah, after the initial shock, being laid off inspired me to be fearless. I’ve been preparing to start my own business and had saved up for over a year. I worked hard and have a great support system.
Did I mention how nice it is to be free from that toxic work environment!?
To be honest, the position that I lost couldn’t support my big dreams. I always viewed it as a stepping stone.
I’m looking forward to sharing about my journey into self-employment with y’all this year! So far, I have established my LLC and hope to open my doors in early March. Stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!
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***Each post features a music video that is usually random and seldom relates to the aforementioned topic. I love music and share it as a form of expression. May contain bad words. Enjoy!