Rahkim Sabree is now a self-employed entrepreneur and financial expert.
In May, he quit his job as a bank manager, which he had held for over a decade.
Only when he resigned did he realize how much he had already lost himself in the corporate world.
I recently watched the cult classic “American Psycho” starring Christian Bale again. In doing so, I recognized parallels between the psychological stress of the main character and what I experienced in my old job in a company. This also included the pressure to search for “success”. But now, two months after leaving the corporate world, I’m happier than ever. I feel energetic, determined, and most importantly, I feel like myself again.
By resigning, I found my way back to my personal identity
Although I never got to the point where I felt like I was completely losing myself, as I did with Patrick Bateman, I felt the real me slip out of my mind. The way I spoke, the way I walked, and even the jokes I laughed at, seemed strange to me.
As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, I put on my company face. Whenever I came to the office and was on the phone with a good friend, the latter noticed when greeting my colleagues that the pitch and the tone of my voice had changed. I had learned not to contradict every time I felt humiliated, disrespected, ignored, or offended. I knew I couldn’t speak sincerely.
Since I quit, I feel free and can not only give myself as I am, but also as I want to be. I can be authentic in dealing with others, fully share my experiences and weaknesses and be and work with people who encourage and support me.
I worry less about the status of others
In one scene, Bateman goes out to dinner with his colleagues after work – and when they are about to leave the restaurant, they all throw their AMEX credit cards on the table to pay the bill. Although this is a seemingly harmless moment in the film, it shows us that the desire to be recognized by colleagues is a very real thing, especially as a black or colored person. This need to integrate into the dominant culture and emulate the people around us can cause a rupture in our identities. So-called code switching is like speaking another language.
I also used to own a platinum AMEX credit card that came with a sizable annual fee of $ 500. When I put the card on the table, it was definitely a welcome opportunity to talk. I originally applied for the card for its travel services, including access to private airport waiting areas. But I also wanted to experience what such a status feels like. The corporate culture rewards those who adapt and baffles those who don’t. When Bateman was asked by his fiancée why he didn’t just quit, he replied, “Because I want to belong.”
After two charge cycles, I decided that the $ 500 charge for the status symbol was no longer worth it and canceled the card. I found another AMEX card with no annual fee that I knew was a more financially sensible choice for me.
Resigning saved me from being myself
I never got to the point where I felt completely lost. Still, I knew that I was walking a fine line and distancing myself from who I was and wanted to be. My job determined in many ways how I presented myself “professionally” and what that meant for me. I was led to believe that I had to look, talk, or dress a certain way. Since I quit, I know that’s just not true.
Today I can say openly what I think and how I feel. And all of this without my being disadvantaged in performance appraisals or in discussions about salary increases, bonuses or promotions. Outside of the corporate world, I can be myself.
This article was translated from English and edited by Ilona Tomić. You can read the original here.