I have had entrepreneurial traits since I was three years old. However, we get set up in a system of being molded into what society tells us to become. People are not taught, encouraged or guided to become thought leaders. Many corporations tempt people to join their business by offering "benefits" that you would never receive working for yourself (at least that's what they want you to believe).
Many of these executive directors or bosses become rigid, full of anger, and many times very narcissistic. They end up having many health problems (good thing they have that health insurance). They usually no longer recognize them self, because they have been removed from their passion and purpose.
I personally have not had that many "jobs" during my life. I attended college while raising my children. When I went out into the work world of social work and realized everything I thought I would be doing for people was false, I decided to never do traditional social work again.
I started my business in 2012. I worked part time jobs and full time jobs to financially support my business. I lived in fear that if I did not have a regular job my business would fail. I finally stayed with a position as an activities director for an assisted living/Alzheimer facility. I started there full time while still running my business. Somehow, I became more exhausted and my bills getting extreme each month.
I worked at this job for almost five years. Finally one day I walked past the housekeeper on my way out of the building to head to my business to work for the evening. The housekeeper said "Leigh, you look like a walking zombie". It was there I made the decision to go down to part time.
How in the world could I be sharing my message of teaching people how to become the best version of themselves when I was not living it within myself?
During that Thanksgiving I worked and ran the nursing home once again so other co-workers could be with their families. I sent my boss an email saying I was going to part time and they needed to hire me an assistant. If this was not completed my last day would be January 1st. He emailed me back and said let's do what we need to do to hire this person.
When the pandemic hit my assistant and I no longer ran activities. We dressed up from head to toe taking every humans temperature and documenting everything. Then we had to stop doing that to serve lunch and dinner. We were not suppose to leave until all temps were documented from morning/lunch through dinner. Each room we went into we had to put on seven different garments to take a persons temp.These elderly folks were already very confused and now they had become prisoners to their rooms and could not understand why. I also still had to write reports and attend meetings online with corporate to make sure we were still providing activities, which we were not.
During a morning meeting when all day staff was present we were going over the normal questions. The covid shot was just getting ready to come out. The executive director stated "and anybody that refuses to get the shot, is a complete idiot". This was normal for him to speak his mind and belittle his staff. When the meeting ended many of the caregivers came to me and said "I am not getting the shot. Does that mean he is calling me an idiot?" I told them sadly yes that is what it means.
The verbal abuse and work load increased. I decided to write a departing letter in case I needed it. It said something like; Thank you for allowing me to be in service to your staff, residents and families over these last 4.5 years. Sadly, our values no longer align and this will serve as my 30 day notice.
The director had added an extra day to my schedule to run the building. This really cut into my time for my business. It was a new year (January 1, 2021) to be exact. The new schedule had not come out and I needed to know which days I worked so I could schedule sessions for my personal clients. I went into his office looking for the schedule. I said, hey is the new schedule not out yet? He looked at me with frustration and said just use the old one. I took the old one and said what do you mean? He said oh my God Leigh bring it to me, its not rocket science! He handed me the schedule and I hung it back up. I went to my desk and printed out my resignation letter. I went back to his office and asked if he had a minute? I handed him the letter. He read it and raised his voice: how do we not align with your values any longer? I said well, you keep elderly patients locked in their rooms, taking temps is not what I was hired to do. He didn't even let me get my words out when he threw his arms up in the air and screamed: SEE YA! I said well hello Mr. X little 14 year old boy. I can just go now if you like. I walked out and went to lunch.
During my working life I have never had an experience like that before. I phoned my partner for support and he gave me encouraging words about not allowing anyone to speak to me like that. I decided to go back to my job and finish my shift. The director took me outside and said he already listed my job but could take it down if I had changed my mind. He also said you will miss your health insurance. I told him I was not going to stay.
During my final days there, the staff who I always counselled and guided stopped talking to me. I found the staff to be very rude and the director never even thanked me or said goodbye to me when I left. It was a horrible experience. I found out that some of the families removed their loved one from the facility because I had left.
Here we are a year later and my "work" life has never looked better. I am not saying that there are days I do not struggle and worry over things. However, to truly be in alignment with your purpose, using your creativity every day and helping people live their best life is so much more rewarding than playing the corporate game.