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…