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

 

Galentine's Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities

Happy almost Galentine’s Day ladies!

That’s right, I said Galentines’s Day. Thanks to Leslie Knope, Galentine’s Day is recognized on February 13th. This day is dedicated to spend time with your best girlfriends and show them that you value and cherish your relationships.  Here are a few things you can do to celebrate Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends!

Galentines Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities

1.Go to a fancy Galentine’s Day dinner and give each other flowers

Treat yourself ladies with a fabulous dinner and bouquets of flowers on Valentine’s Day! Whether your friends choose Italian, American or and Asian-fusion restaurant, there are so many great restaurant options in Seattle. If you’re looking to order beautiful bouquets for your girlfriends, Blooms by Nadimor has the most beautiful bouquets!

2. Host a Galentine’s Day Pajama Party

Invite all your girlfriends over and watch all your favorite chick flicks and rom coms. Make lots of popcorn, eat lots of candy, and drink lots of wine. If your friends aren’t into chick flicks or romcoms, pick your favorite genre as a group!

3. Get Mani and Pedis Together

Book an appointment for your group of girlfriends or BFFS to get your nails done together! Mani and pedis are always fun to get with friends.

Galentines Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party ActivitiesGalentines Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities

4. Host a Galentine’s Day Potluck

If you and your friends don’t want to go out to dinner on Galentine’s Day, just have a potluck! Have your friends each bring a dish, dessert, or drinks. That way the host doesn’t have to stress about cooking for a party of 3, 5, or 10.

5. Go out Dancing

When’s the last time you went out dancing with your girlfriends? Well whether you want to head to a bar or club or host your own dance party, you can celebrate Galentine’s Day by letting loose and dance around!

6. Host a Galentine’s Day Cards/Gift Exchange

Remember when we used to make Valentine’s Day boxes in elementary school? Then we’d do a Valentine’s Day card gift exchange with a party afterwards? Host a Galentine’s Day card/gift exchange at one of your girlfriend’s places! Have everyone bring a shoebox and some art supplies. Spend an hour decorating your box. Then spend the rest of the evening filling Valentine’s Day cards and chocolates in each other’s boxes!

Galentines Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party ActivitiesGalentine's Day- Blooms by Nadimor - Galentines Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities

7. Go to a Wine and Paint Night

If you’ve never done a wine and paint night before, the perfect time to experience one would be on Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an artist to do the class. You don’t even have to paint what the instructor is teaching.

8. Run a Galentine’s Day 5K Race

If you and your girlfriends want to get a workout together on Galentine’s Day, sign up for a 5K! You can get dressed up in Galentine’s Day themed shirts or socks and then grab a bite to eat afterwards.

9. Celebrate Galentine’s Day with Dessert!

Whether you and your group of girlfriends choose ice cream, waffles, brownies, or fresh fruit, ending Galentine’s Day on a sweet note is always a good idea! My favorite dessert places in Seattle include: Round Robin -for ice cream cookie sandwiches, Molly Moon’s – for ice cream, and Hot Cakes – for molten chocolate cakes with ice cream on top!

Galentines Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities Galentine's Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities

10. Have a Galentine’s Day Photo Shoot

Whether you have a photographer friend or you have your iPhone, having a photo shoot with your friends is always fun! You can get dressed up in Galentine’s/Valentine’s Day themed outfits, find a location in the city, and snap away. That’s what my friend Ribicca and I did in my 4 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring the Girl Boss post! I finally found the perfect all red outfit and Ribicca styled her cute pink dress with over the knee boots and a pageboy hat.

How will you celebrate Galentine’s Day with your friends this year?

Galentine's Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party ActivitiesGalentine's Day Ideas - Ways to celebrate Galentine's Day - Galentine's Day Activities - Galentine's Day Party Activities

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Thank you for reading!

Love,

Emma

Photos: Holly Phan

Thank you to Gigimey Jewelry for the beautiful layered necklace and for the Paramount Hotel Seattle for the one night stay!