How I knew it was time to Leave My First Job - signs its time to leave your job - time to quit your job - when to quit your job

After seven rounds of interviews and a case competition, I landed one of the 13 spots of PepsiCo’s Sales Associate Rotational Program. The program was going to be 4 years long and I would be rotated to different cities with each role. I was going to be placed in Southern California for my first rotation and given a company car. It was my dream to move down to Southern California after graduation and to travel so I knew I had to take the role. Little did I know that I would end up leaving my first job out of college in a year..

My first year in the real world was probably the most challenging life experiences I’ve ever had.

I made every mistake you could probably make in your first job, I cried multiple times, and I was extremely stressed out. So let me tell you how I knew I needed to leave my first job….

My first job as a retail sales rep was very simple: sell and build as many Gatorade and Quaker Oats displays as I could to grocery and store managers. My goal was to always come in as the top salesperson in the territory.

How I knew it was time to Leave My First Job - signs its time to leave your job - time to quit your job - when to quit your job - career advice for millennials

One of the first lessons I learned in my first job was that I did not fit well with the PepsiCo Sales culture.

My business unit ranked the retail sales people and published a monthly/quarterly list. The ranking system was one way the company/leadership motivated its sales teams to sell more and more each year. While some people really enjoyed this type of motivation, I did not. I knew going into the job that I’m motivated to achieve, not motivated to win or beat others. But I wanted to give sales a try because I had majored and marketing and sales in college.

My first 3 months in the job were rough… but after figuring out my selling style and developing relationships with my 31 grocery stories, it did get easier. By the end of my second quarter (6 months), I was ranked 2nd on our scorecard. And by the end of the 1st quarter of 2015 (9 months), I was ranked number one.

Even as my numbers came in, I didn’t feel more fulfilled or motivated by the scorecard – because again, I’m motivated to achieve, not to beat the next person next to me.

How I knew it was time to Leave My First Job - signs its time to leave your job - time to quit your job - when to quit your job

Aside from the company culture, I also learned from this experience that just because I can perform well in job, doesn’t mean I enjoy it or want to do it.

Even though I’m thankful I learned how to build positive relationships with my customers, I also learned that I don’t get a kick out of selling more pallets of food into grocery stores. I realized that in 9 months into the role that I didn’t necessarily enjoy sales either. I decided that I could take relationship building and my emotional intelligence skills into any role I take on.

 

Which leads me to my next reason on why I knew I needed to leave my first job: I couldn’t get excited about the product.

I don’t know about you, but Quaker Oats and Gatorade are both cool brands, but to me they’re still groceries at the end of the day. I was stressed out the entire year about making sure I had enough displays of Chewy Bars, Life Cereal, and Gatorade stands. And I realized I didn’t want an entire career about stressing out about these food products…

I had completed two internships for the Boeing Company where I supported all airplane programs in my Flight Services and Supplier Management internships. I realized that I understand the importance of airplanes in both the commercial and defense industry. Personally, I could see a long term career supporting airplanes more than I did supporting food.

So for me, the culture, the business function (sales), and the product were all signs that helped me decide to leave my first job. Additionally, I knew I wanted to get my master’s degree these next few years. I felt called to go back to Boeing because the Boeing Company pays for you entire master’s degree while PepsiCo didn’t even cover a 1/3 of tuition.

How I knew it was time to Leave My First Job - signs its time to leave your job - time to quit your job - when to quit your job

If you’re debating whether or not your current job is a fit, here are a few signs that show it may be time to leave your current job:

  1. When you wake up unhappy every morning

A big indication of when you know it’s time to move on and leave your first job/or current job is if you wake up unhappy every day. If you aren’t motivated or see the relevance in coming to work, you may not be happy or satisfied with your work situation.

  1. When you are no longer learning or challenged – aka you’re bored.

Whether you’ve been in your role one year or five years, if you feel like you are no longer learning in your role, it’s time to move on. If you find you’re bored or looking for a new challenge, you may need to start looking for a new opportunity to be challenged.

  1. If the company culture is not a good fit

Does your team have a work hard play hard mentality? Does your management team motivate the organization by ranking individuals? Or does your team put in long hours that extend into the weekend?

The way your management motivates employees and the attitude your team has towards work are all a part of the company culture. I’ve found that if the company culture fits my life style, I’m much happier. Personally, I strive for a balance lifestyle. I do work hard at work but it’s also important for me to have time for myself to work out and blog outside of work.

How I knew it was time to Leave My First Job - signs its time to leave your job - time to quit your job - when to quit your job - career advice for millennials

  1. Company goals aren’t aligned with yours

For some people it can be very challenging to work in an industry or support a company whose products, services or goals aren’t in line with yours. For instance, in my experience I couldn’t get excited about selling more Gatorade or Quaker Oats.

You may be able to support a product service or goal that may not be aligned with your goals and values. But you should know that you don’t have to.

  1. You’re burnt out

Working tons of hours, demanding deadlines, and not having time for you at the end of the day or week are all signs that you’re burnt out. If you’re feeling like you can’t unwind or you’re exhausted from work all of the time or unmotivated to get to work each day, you may be burnt out.

Personally in my experience, I was working on average of 50 hours a week. I knew I wanted more work life balanced so I knew I needed to leave my first job.

  1. The work environment is toxic

If you have a struggling relationship with your manager, team, or leadership, or have demanding expectations without the resources or support to succeed, it can be very challenging to strive to be a top performer. You will know if your work environment is toxic. If you’re witnessing people getting thrown underneath the bus during meetings or people living in fear in the office, it may be time to rethink what time of environment you want to work in.

If you recognized that it’s time to leave your job, here are: 10 steps to figure out your next step in your career.

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Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Holly Phan

 

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Happy Galentine’s Day to the girl boss!

This Galentine’s Day I wanted to give a special out to any girl boss out there. My girlfriends/girl bosses(both in real life and on Instagram) are incredible. Some of them are bloggers, lawyers, engineers, and project managers. Some of them are going back to school to further their education and careers and some of them balance being a mom with careers. I’m thankful that the women in my life are smart, creative, and incredibly supportive. 

My friend Ribicca from Amro Menor is the definition of a girl boss.

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Not only does she work full time as a merchandise analyst, but she takes incredible trips and blogs about travel and fashion. She recently completed a coding program and is looking into graduate programs to further her coding/UX design skills. I’m so thankful that I met Ribicca in college because she’s the first blogger friend I ever made. I’ve looked up to her for both her creative and technical skills.

I’m also aspiring to be a girl boss one day too.

At night, I’m enrolled full time and working towards my Masters of Communication in Digital Media degree. And during the day, I work full time as a project manager at the Boeing Company. And in between, I’m taking photos and constantly writing for my blog Emma’s Edition. (Here’s how I find balance in my life if you’re curious.)

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I get questioned a lot about what I’m planning to do with my future as a blogger, business women, and graduate student.  I get questioned why I am even putting myself through graduate school when I already have a stable job. I get questioned about why I didn’t choose to pursue fashion as a career. And I get questioned whether I want a family one day.

So here is my answer: I have dreams of both planning Boeing’s international air shows, running my own marketing/social media business one day, while still blogging, and having a family. It’s my future and I can dream and create the reality I want to live. And honestly, we only have one life so I intend to live and maximize my time here. I hope to leave a beautiful mark on our world and hopefully help others along the way.

These are just a few of my dreams as an aspiring girl boss. So this upcoming Galentines’ Day, I wanted to share:

4 pieces of advice for all the aspiring girl bosses out there

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#1. You set your limits and you define your success

I’ve shared this before but I’ll say it again because I truly am a firm believer that we create our own reality. If you think you can do it, you can. And if you think you can’t, than you can’t.

I think the biggest hurdle I’ve faced in blogging is believing that I even belonged in this space. Seeing and embracing myself as a writer, a model, and a creative were all pieces of me that I had to give myself permission to embrace.

Sometimes the biggest roadblocks we face in our lives are ourselves. Sometimes it’s our self doubt or lack of confidence that prevents us from believing we can.  Please give yourself permission to pursue whatever your heart is calling you to do.  Remember you are a girl boss; you define your limits and you can set yourself up for success.

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#2. Support our fellow lady bosses

Ladies it’s already a tough world out there. It doesn’t make it any easier if we bring each other down. Whether you choose to buy a product that a girlfriend is selling or choose to schedule a coffee date to someone who reached out to you, these little acts of collaboration and kindness build our communities up. 

Support can even be as simple as reaching out to someone who you think has been killing it their careers, their businesses or their blogs, and letting them know they’re doing a great job.

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#3 Challenge the Status Quo

Just because things are the way they are today doesn’t mean they have to be this way in the future. Why can’t we challenge the status quo? Why can’t we question the gender pay gap? Why can’t we envision a future where 50% of our fortune 500 companies are led by women? Why can’t we both technical and creative? Why can’t Filipino-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asian-American, and other women of color walk run ways or be in front of magazine covers?

Challenging the status quo starts with you.  Being a girl boss means you have to believe the world will be a little bit better with the content, products, or ideas you put out there. When you challenge the status quo, you push yourself and your world around you to question and envision the world differently. Remember that just because change doesn’t happen overnight doesn’t mean it can’t happen. So keep pushing ladies, you can change this world.

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#4. Be brave, be bold, and be you.

I don’t know about you, but I deal with my fears of failure and rejection everyday as a content creator and a business woman. I know and you know that we can’t let our fears define our lives.

If you fail, you learn. If you never try, you’ll never know. We don’t grow in life if we don’t try, fail, learn and succeed. The journey in creating ourselves, our futures, and exploring our passions doesn’t happen without intention, alignment, and action.

Whether it’s your education, a new job, or even pursuing love, be brave, be bold, and be you in your next step in life.

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Are you an aspiring girl boss? Want to share you one piece of advice for aspiring girl bosses out there and be featured on Emma’s Edition?

Subscribe to Emma’s Edition here and I’ll send you a form to share your one piece of advice to the girl boss community! I’ll be collecting your advice up until Galentine’s Day February 13th!

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Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Holly Phan (Holly also an incredible girl boss. My friend and photographer Holly Phan already completed her bachelors degree and is working towards her graphic design degree full time, while still working part time and shooting for Emma’s Edition).

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