4. You Have the Power to Choose Yourself

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

In the third article of the Power Series, I shared how I dealt with an impossible-to-please boss. And survived! Actually, I excelled. If you missed it, take a peek at the blog.

Now let’s pick up where we left off: I realized that while the regional VP had seniority, that did not negate my power to decide what was best for me. Remember, you always have a choice.

 Once that lightbulb turned on, I shifted my focus. My goal was to find a new job in a place where I could thrive. I asked to be severed from the organization with all the benefits afforded under the company severance policy. To my great delight, they agreed. As a matter of fact, you also have the power to ask for what you want. You just might get it if you ask. As the saying goes, ‘a closed mouth doesn’t get fed’.

The Benefit of Choosing

Here’s the best part. Before my last day at Microsoft, I already had an offer letter from Synchrony. Although I took a pay cut, it was well worth it. The peace I gained far outweighed the salary loss. Indeed there are too many tales of the devasting effects of not prioritizing yourself. My emotional well-being is priceless – and so is yours. 

Ultimately, my total compensation more than tripled! And I regained my joy. That’s the power of choosing to place yourself in an environment where you and your talents are valued.

“Who you spend time with is who you become! Change your life by consciously choosing to surround yourself with people with higher standards!” – Tony Robbins

At Synchrony, I found a welcoming boss who once described me as “one of the best hiring decisions” he had ever made. All the skills, strengths, and experiences that I had begun to doubt earned me three promotions over ten years. I finally had a real seat at the table as an SVP managing a $2.5B credit program. I led a diverse, cross-functional team. Out of more than 16,000 employees, I was one of only nine black women to reach this level. I’d say I made the right decision!

Choose Yourself

 If you are in a toxic work environment where you are merely tolerated, leave. You have the power to NOT tolerate them. Rather than staying, own your talent and take it somewhere else. Go where people recognize your worth. Choose yourself! And exit stage left.

I know firsthand how devastating it is when a ‘bad boss’ actively undermines your confidence. And it is easy to forget how natural and refreshing it feels when you are valued, appreciated, and respected for your contributions. You absolutely have the right and the power to shop around for what you want.

“But there was a difference between being stuck and choosing to stay. Between being found and finding yourself.” – Martina Boone

 Simply put, do not stay stuck. Stay powerful. Choose yourself. In hindsight, I’m grateful for the ‘bad boss’. Why? Because he was merely the catalyst that ultimately pushed me on to more incredible things. First, to Synchrony, then to launch my coaching business. Now I help inspire others to find their strength.

You can grow past anything holding you back too. Whether it’s a horrible boss, imposter syndrome, or challenging circumstances – Ascentim can help.

Picture of Lisa L. Baker

Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life.

She shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up – get connected, get promoted, get wealth – and Live the Life of Their Dreams.

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