If you could write a letter to yourself from five years ago, what would you say?

I will tell you in generalities. I went to grad school to do something very specific with my career that focuses primarily on working with young adults. The school and the internship I had there were very supportive, taught us to address and solve problems immediately, gave us actual responsibility, and prepared us for professional level work. It was a top school, so when it came time to look for work, all of us in the program were in high demand.

So the place I went to work was considered one of the top places in the nation to do what I do. When I went to interview I presented myself as an independent worker, proactive, and solutions based. However, at the time my mother was fighting cancer, and I also established that until she was better, I would be gone from the area most weekends unless required to stay for certain events or reasons the department had established on weekend.

They loved my interview, told me they would support me with my mom's situation, said my style was needed, and went on an on about all the opportunities in the department and funding they put behind their staff to pursue opportunities.

It only lasted 4 months. Within the first week of starting, they changed my location in the department and switched my staff entirely along with it. (the previous person had just left for another job). The staff in question were all young people, and really upset to have me put in charge. The person before me had established some very close connections over 3 years there, she had personally handpicked everyone there, some of them babysat her children, she went to church with some, etc. I on the other hand was single, no kids, agnostic, and not available to them like this person before me. Plus I was also gone with situations regarding my mother.

My supervisor who interviewed me, turned out to be a micro-manger to the ninth degree, so wanted every decision made to be run past her even though it was not required by the company, and she rarely had the time for it. She had no personal balance in her life also. This made the overall product suffer, but I was blamed for it.

By the end of the 1st month I learned that all the funding promised to support development or training for my position, came with so many stipulations/hoops to jump through, that it was going to be impossible to really use.

Within the 3rd month I started to get shit from my supervisor and other higher up about my mother. Ex. If at the end of the meeting, if someone asked "what is everyone doing this weekend", when I answered "Im going to visit my mother in the hospital for her treatment." I would get "Again? Really?" or "you need to buy-in to the culture here, isn't there other people with her?" I knew from there that it wasn't going to work out, but I would try to finish the year and find something better. The fit was just wrong, because they lied about the reality of their situation.

My staff made the deathbell happen though for my time there. My staff really didn't like me cause I quickly became about getting the task done at hand and I'll see you all tomorrow. The staff got together, created a multiple false stories about me in the work place, in an effort to get me fired. The department of course, already not happy with me cause of the other stuff above tried to can me. I fought back against the claims, the department brought in an outside person to investigate, they found that there was nothing to prove I had done anything wrong. However that was it for me. It was an at-will state, and they would rather replace the disillusioned boss, then all the staff, that were proven to have lied. We parted ways. However because they were so big and well known, and my time there so short (most stay for 2 or 3 years, and I was there 4 months). I couldn't get calls back, or interviews for a while. I had to take a job outside of what I wanted to do, and then later heard through connections that some of the people in the department were spreading more rumors and lies about me to other departments (some i never even applied to) to stay ahead of me telling my side of events. So it just really damaged my brand for a while. It's fine now, but man if i could go back I definitely would.

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