Image by Ivory Door Studio
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to two different groups of young people. I’ve spoken in many arenas including prisons, award ceremonies and fundraisers, but I’ve never had the pleasure of speaking to a group of young people. The first group consisted of middle and high schoolers and the second group was consisted of young people from the ages of 14-24. Being a truth teller, I make it a point to leave a little bit of truth everywhere I go. This Truth Tuesday I’ll talk to yall about one of the truths I shared last Tuesday. Golden Handcuffs – It was a phrase first recorded in 1976, refers to financial allurements and benefits that have the objective to encourage highly compensated employees to remain within a company or organization instead of moving from company to company.
Let me set the scene…the year was 2012 and I was stuck in a dead-end job. I was completely miserable!!! I reached out to a friend and a few months later I was introduced to the world of IT recruiting. It was totally different from anything I’d ever done before. I struggled at the beginning, but about a year into the new role, I took off like a rocket ship. By no time I was one of the “recruiters to watch”.
It was the first time in my career I looked at my pay stub and thought “damn, momma I made it”. If you know me, then you know money has never been one of my top motivating factors. So, when things started to get a bit out of control, I thought long and hard whether the money I was making was enough for me to stay somewhere I deemed to be unhealthy.
One day, a coworker called me Sideshow Bob (yep, from the Simpsons) due to my natural hair. Daily, there were constant racially insensitive remarks. One of the executives that came to visit and we drove by the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest (first president of the KKK). He stated I really wanted to see this while I was in town. There was a guy that constantly made sexually explicit comments. Me and another lady both repeatedly asked him to stop, but he continued. One day, I called HR, and a few days later he was fired. Afterwards, people told me I got him fired. I think the thing that really made pack my bags was a meeting with my manager. He flat-out told me that with my skill set I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere else and make the type of money I was making. He said you have on the golden handcuffs, and I don’t see you being able to take them off. These are only a FEW of the many disrespectful things I had to endure.
I spoke to the kids about how much I made and asked if they would stay. The majority of them said yes. Trust me I understand because they are kids and money means something different to them than it does to adults. When I put in my notice, my pay stubs might have been lighter, but my happiness was instantly improved. For me, it’s so much more to life than money. I currently have an incredible work/life balance, and a team that is extremely supportive.
I’ve read several articles that state $75,000 is the magic number for people to stay with a company despite their unhappy work environment. What is your magic number or do you not have one? I don’t have one!
Until next time loves…
Awesome post! I hate you had to endure so much bs. I’m glad you were able to remove yourself from a toxic environment.
I’m so happy to be away from there!
I am sorry you had that experience…. some people are so insensitive. So happy you have work/life balance. I don’t have a number in which would make me stay at a job where I’m disrespected and feel unhappy.
I’m so happy I’m no longer there. Yes, work/life balance is so important. I think it gets more important the older we become.
Kuddos to you Sheena for standing up for yourself. I’m for it, I had to leave an awful work environment not too long ago. Best decision I made!
Yes, great decision for me too. I’m glad you were able to get out of there.
Girl, if this article didn’t hit home. But first, terribly disappointed in the retaliatory comments made towards you, that company needs an intervention. The golden handcuffs syndrome is so real. I thought I had a number but I surpassed it, so now I focus on building my own business so I can break these handcuffs. Thanks for sharing your personal story!
Yes, I thought I had a number but like you said I surpassed it and still wasn’t happy in that job. I admire you for building your own business.
I lived long enough to know that my peace of mind is priceless. My favorite jobs were in the non-profit world and they did not pay much. However, I loved my work tremendously. The work I did matter.
👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 peace of mind is priceless
At this age, it isn’t as much about money as it is quality of life. I really need to look at what my day will look like, how much time I will have with family and friends, AND how much foolishness I will have to endure. The older I get the less foolishness I can take. Good for you for choosing you!
I’m with you at this age there is so much more to life than money!!!
This was very insightful but disappointing to read. So grateful you were able to identify when it was no longer worth it for you!
Trust me it was such a disappointment to think you’ve found a great place to grow but it turns out to be very toxic.
Wow! Those situations were absolutely crazy. I’m almost 40 and I don’t have time for people’s nonsense. In my younger days I could sit quietly and weigh by pros and cons. Now, I move on without regret. As black and brown people we often carry burdens that are not our own and I’m tired of being weighed down so when situations start to affect my sanity I leave. I’m glad to hear that you did what you had to do.
This is so true!!! Move on without regret. I think a lot of it comes with age.
Yeah, no. I’d leave to. I worked for a bank that was doing shady stuff right before the recession and had to leave because of my morals. It was truly the right thing to do.
My brother left Wells Fargo right before all the scandals started
I’ve never heard the term golden handcuffs. I’m so sorry you had to endure that treatment. But, I’m glad you’ve channeled that experience it into something great.
Thanks so much!!!
Thank you so much for sharing your personal story! This will definitely inspire people to be careful of the kind of jobs they accept and be strong enough to leave when the environment becomes toxic.
Thanks for reading
That doesn’t sound like a good environment and I’m glad you left!!! My first job was somewhat similar to that and I finally left. Looking back I now know that no amount of money would convince me to stay in any job! Your life & happiness are way more important 🙂
I couldn’t agree with you more!!!
I read somewhere recently that the thing fueling so many Black women to become entrepreneurs is dissatisfaction and disappointment with the work place. You further proved this point. kudos to you for getting out of the golden handcuffs.
I can definitely believe it
Didn’t read this when you originally posted it. This is an awesome story. I can relate. Glad you made the right choice.Thanks for sharing.
Me too! That place was horrible.