I remember walking out of my office and overhearing my boss say, “Who does she think she is?”
When I look back now, I should have walked back in and said, “I’m Tammy- freaking -King,” but I had nowhere near enough confidence back then.
I knew I deserved better. I returned to work early after my maternity leave to take on a new position that I was excited about. After 12 years of working hard to prove myself in order to advance, I had finally done it! Someone at the managerial level acknowledged that I deserved to take on a new role. As excited as I was to return with feelings of finally being validated, I hated the fact that I was going to miss some of the most memorable days with my baby, my last little girl. I was afraid that someone else would get to see her first steps, someone else would be there as she played in puddles for her first time, someone else would see all those picture worthy moments that I would miss. It was ok though because I was going to be able to better provide for my family. I always wanted to work my way up to a corporate job. I wanted to be a strong, confident business woman that my family was proud of.
I returned to work and after 2 short weeks in my new role, I was brought into my new manager’s office and was asked to take on a special project that would be an amazing experience. It was an incredible opportunity for advancement and would give me the opportunity to work with the top leaders. I was so excited! I couldn't wait to get home and share all the news with my husband and family.
Fast forward a few months later... I realized that the next months would be huge for me. Although this new project had its perks, its pay just covered my daycare bills. (Yes, I know people reading this may say, “Well, your husband has a great job,” but this is not about my husband. This is a feeling of accomplishment for me. It is my career.) I was told that although my duties and role had changed, my pay had not. In fact, they brought in a new rule that you had to stay in the same pay scale for 5 years before you could advance and then there was a cap. Trust me, I was nowhere near this cap, not because of performance, but because of experience, only because of how many years I had been with that company.
(I want to note that I am very grateful for all my experiences with this company and I was very fortunate to be there)
I sat back and I thought. This was a pivotal moment in my life. Did I want to continue to feel like life was passing me by? Did I want to spend every single day going through the motions and hoping that eventually I would get a louder voice, a chance to feel acknowledged, or I did want more from my life?
I asked them the question: if my job and duties could be reevaluated, could my pay reflect my work? I did the same work as others, but because I was the youngest in my job role (meaning the least experienced) I was paid less.
This was not what I wanted for myself. It was time for me to jump out of that box and create my own future. I remember telling this to my manager and he told me, “Go home and sleep on it; it’s a big decision.” When I came back the next morning, I asked again if there was anything that could be done. When he said no, I handed him my letter of resignation.
Let me just say, this was not an easy decision. At the time, I was working an online business on the side as a hobby. My husband and I made the decision to put the kids in daycare part time, allowing me to spend more time with them.
Honesty, it’s the best decision I ever made. I have never looked back with regret just a big ass smile because here I am still showing up and still growing my business.
This is my story. I’m not sure if it was having kids that changed my outlook on life, but I knew something had to change.
Times can be hard, yes, but they are my kind of hard, they are things that light me up. I know my worth. I’m Tammy-freaking-King!