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Great organizations value honesty. So why did this Yelp employee get fired for hers?

Source | LinkedIn : By Kareem Taylor

If you could tell your boss exactly how you feel, would you? Well, over the weekend, that’s what 25-year-old Yelp employee Talia Jane did. And it ended with her getting fired. But did she really do anything wrong? Not in my eyes.

“I haven’t brought groceries since I started this job”, Talia writes addressing the letter to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. The letter goes on to describe her hunger pains, having to survive on a ten pound bag of rice, and living 30 miles away from work because it’s more affordable. Like many young people (and most people around the world) Talia is finding it hard to make ends meet.

While others see this letter to the CEO as disrespectful and inconsiderate, or as an act of entitled millennialism, I see this letter as a time for healing. Three years ago, I felt the same way, when I recorded this video out of anger, and disgust, and confusion. And it only made me realize just how much it was me and my own ways holding me back. But I could only see it that way after I watched the video back, and asked myself “Who are you mad at? Yourself.”

Everyone, right now, should write the kind of letter Talia wrote to her boss. Not so that your boss can see it, per se, but so that you can work through how you feel. Many times, when we’re stressed and angry, we naturally want to air out our grievances. And sometimes, we take it to social media. So that we can get what? Attention. It feels so much better when others like, and share, and comment. It’s like you’re not alone.

The ability to articulate how you feel is a gift. Talia can now look at the letter she wrote and scrutinize what she’s truly mad about. And match that with her talents and what she’s personally capable of changing. With the kind of thinking she has, she can get promoted two, three, four times in a year.

 

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