As you all know, I decided to walk away from a job that had burnt me out about a year ago. Personally, this was one of the best decisions I have made for myself. I am a stronger person today. Happier. More organized. And, I have a bit of swagger back that had been missing for too long.
But, something about the decision haunts me to this day.
There was a male coworker with whom I did not completely jive. He was a key executive at the company and made me very uncomfortable. When he spoke to me, even in group settings, his entire demeanor changed. He was defensive, combative and abrasive. And, I’m sure I was many of those things too. Ultimately, we were offered the opportunity to seek professional coaching on how better to work with one another, or one of us would need to exit the leadership team.
He was a partner. He sat on the board. I was the marketing director. It felt a little reminiscent of David and Goliath.
I exited the company.
I feel a strong commitment toward helping other professional women. I feel we can only get to the top if we bring other women along with us. And, unfortunately, I think I failed in this situation. I worry I did not do enough to correct his behavior. I fear I let the power dynamics help dictate my decision. I worry the next woman who sits in that leadership room with him will be treated the same way. And, maybe unfairly, I feel responsible.
Ultimately, I don’t think I had the personal strength to engage. It had been a tough few years for me, and I don’t think it was a battle I could win given my state. Still, I can’t help but wonder, when do we engage in the fight to make the workplace a little better for the women who are yet to come?
And, when is it OK to exit?
You can find Amanda on LinkedIn.