Strong enough to cry

Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision.

Let me explain – about 5 months ago I left my old job and started a new one. Since starting, this job has made me cry twice. Twice in five months might sound like a lot, if you don’t know how very little it takes to make my eyes leak. Maybe it actually is a lot. But compare it to the old job, where I went home and cried almost every night.

There seems to be this massive bundle of negativity around the act of crying. People who cry are weak, only babies should cry, crying in public is embarrassing. But actually, crying can be really useful.

The first time I cried at the old job was the day I went on the job sites and started applying for new ones. Getting puffy eyes every night motivated me to keep applying, even after more than a year of nothing except two “thanks but no thanks” emails.

And it paid off! Eventually.

My first weepy session at the new place taught me to never just walk into the meeting rooms, because you never know when the big boss man might be in there with every high heejin in the whole company.

Today’s incident in the toilets has taught that I have got to stop being so timid.

I was crying because the Head of the Alliance (yes, that is his actual job title) was angry because I had not completed a report he wanted yesterday. I could make excuses and say I only had a week to build this report from scratch and populate it. Because I did. But I know the real reason it wasn’t ready on time is because I was too afraid to go and ask for the information.

See, out in the everyday world I am stubborn, outspoken, getting towards being sickeningly confident, and full to the brim with self-esteem. But that’s not me at work. At work I am a little girl playing Secretary, dressing in grown-ups clothes, hoping and praying nobody will figure out that I don’t belong there.  I can’t ask these people for figures, they’re far too busy with real, important work. They don’t need silly little me interrupting them!

Finding yourself crying on the floor in the toilets does not mean that you made a bad decision. It was the right decision to apply for this job, and it was the right decision to accept the job offer when it came. Finding myself crying in the toilets showed me that I have to work harder and get over this feeling of inferiority if I want to keep the job. Which I do.

Luckily this is a monthly report, so in just a few weeks I will have chance to do it again and do it right. Next time there will be no crying, because I have already learned my lesson from it.

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