top of page

I’m just lucky to have a job, right?

Written By: Lauren Howard

The job I was scared to leave was holding me back from everything. 

I mean, everything. 

I stopped growing there years before, but I was in such a negative headspace about my skills and capabilities that I was certain that no one else would hire me. 

What could I possibly offer anyone else? This quirky, toxic environment tolerates me as much as I’m tolerating them, right? 

The longer I spent there, the more certain I was that this was all there was. The stress, the stagnation, the poor communication, the opaque decision making, the placation to your face and direct contradiction behind your back . . .

I’m just lucky to have a job, right?

Then, one day, I realized that I couldn’t live a life that was only this. I couldn’t miss important moments with my kids anymore. I was showing up every day for a sense of security that had rendered me totally insecure. I was certain they wouldn’t fire me, but I was still anxious and stressed all of the time. I was clinging to familiar misery because the unknown was too much. 

Or was it? 

I went from, “This is the best that things can ever be,” to “There has got to be better out there,” in the span of one text conversation. I went in with the intent to resolve a lingering communication issue. I left with my resignation letter on my boss’s desk. 

The glass just shattered and there was no fixing it.

I had no plan. I had no idea what I was going to do. I had no idea what was next. 

And yet, even if things were going to stay bad, I needed a different bad. 

I cried for days. I felt like I lost a part of my identity and had no idea who I was without that major part of my personality. 

But as the days passed, the lights started to turn on. I started meeting new people and reconnecting with old ones. They all kept reinforcing the same thing. 

I had a huge amount to offer, and the only person who didn’t see that was me. 

Part of the game of keeping the environment so toxic was to ensure that the people who were surviving it would think this is normal and all environments were like this. The psychological damage done from that is layered, complex, and not something that is just corrected with a resignation letter. 

It’s not “just a job.” It’s a balancing act of performance, feedback, validation, approval, disapproval, advancement, stagnation, aspiration and every single of one of those things is layered and personal. 

Oh, and they can all mess with your mental health in ways that don’t just magically improve once you’re out. It takes time, work, self-compassion, and hopefully, a better environment that you can learn from.

It’s out there. It takes time, work, and courage, but it’s out there. 


Founder & CEO at elletwo


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page