April 22, 2013 § 1 Comment
Often a friend and I joke that because we’ve been personal assistants so long and having put up with so much abuse in our early years, I began to say we are “Damaged Goods.” We became numb to reality, numb to outrageous requests, numb to personal attacks, numb to unreasonable workdays, work schedules and ill-intentioned people. But we are not without responsibility. We were young and dumb but boy have we learned. We have learned that when your work situation is so far off from what you personally consider reasonable and manageable, you’ve got to make an important decision for yourself, for your personal integrity.
Michael Jackson’s lifestyle is a perfect example of this situation. Some people in his household were willing to take the paycheck while turning a blind eye to some things that ended up being fatal for their employer. They put up with the lunacy because they knew they would just be replaced. It’s a very hard call. You are powerless to change things so you must make a decision to conform or quit. Either way the behavior will continue with or without you.
One of the things I teach assistants is that if you are not at all compatible with your employer:
1) Plan an exit strategy. Plan when you want to have a new job and when you will give notice. Work that plan. And for some, that may mean a completely different industry.
2) Don’t discuss or berate your employer for their ways with others. It solves absolutely nothing except promoting more bad energy. You have power by not allowing yourself the mindset of being victimized. You know you have choices.
3) Give notice and say simply that you don’t think this job is for you any longer and that you are giving notice. That’s okay. You don’t need to elaborate. You don’t need to point out instances where they were wrong and you were right. Explain that you intend to give adequate notice and do your job in the same manner until the two weeks are up and are committed to still being the same loyal and dependable assistant during this transition.
Believe me, you are doing them a favor. No one wants someone in their home who is judging them or who has a difference of opinion of their every decision.
At the end of the day it all boils down to having personal integrity. No one can tell you what that is for you. Everyone has their own barometer of what is their “last straw” when they will say, “I have to live with me, do what’s best for me, I cannot condone this and so I must quit.”