- Rahkim Sabree is an entrepreneur, financial educator, and former banking program manager.
- In May, Sabree quit his job and posted on Twitter about his decision.
- Sabree says he doesn’t regret that he quit without notice, as it was necessary to protect his mental health.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
At 21 years old, I started working as a part-time teller for a large national bank. Over the next decade, I held various roles that included seller, supervisor, and manager before transitioning to a non-customer facing program manager role at a smaller regional bank. There I was responsible for overseeing email messaging, inbound chat, and social media by creating and updating policies and procedures, establishing escalation guidelines, and interfacing across multiple teams. I enjoyed the fast pace and autonomy of the work.
Around 2018, I became interested in financial education.
After reading the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” I started having conversations with friends and family about saving, investing, and building credit. The more I learned, the more I wanted to share, so I decided to build a passion project around financial empowerment, to represent not only an underserved community, but a lack of diversity in content creators geared towards that community.
Over time, I became a financial literacy influencer on social media, wrote two books, and gave a TEDx talk.
While my passion project picked up steam, it also led to condescending remarks and questions from my employers around where my loyalties lie with the company. I was repeatedly asked to document any work I did outside of my role, from contributing to publications to speaking at conferences – despite that work being separate and done on my own time.
In February of 2021, I began to have anxiety about keeping my job amid the pandemic layoffs.
I found myself having to constantly reassure leadership of my commitment to the bank. Anxiety and fear turned into frustration and anger as I felt I was was being assigned unrelated tasks to keep me “busy,” given conflicting instruction on projects and assignments, and required to document my business interests and activities outside of the company.
That slow boil feeling also included me receiving the smallest merit increase I’d received, coupled with the comment that I should be grateful because “some people got nothing” and attempts to surveil and micromanage how I spent my time both on and off the clock. Ultimately it began to feel like a hostile environment. It started to take a toll on my mental health – I was angry, anxious, unfulfilled, and unhappy.
On May 28, I submitted my resignation via email effective immediately, concerned about retaliation attempts had I given a full two weeks’ notice. Leading up to this, I’d been sharing my frustration on the job with my small Twitter community since February, so I decided to share my decision to quit in what would become a viral tweet.
My manager immediately attempted to call and text me for an explanation, but by that time I’d made up my mind. I stuck around long enough to see the termination notice go out, and then I logged off with a sigh of relief.
On Twitter, I was immediately celebrated for sharing my story with likes, retweets, and comments that included “I’m next” and “I’m proud of you” as I shared my plans to continue building my passion project without limitations and fear. Since quitting, I’ve been focusing on monetizing my experience and thought leadership in personal finance via coaching, consulting, and digital content creation.
Mental health is a taboo topic, especially for men of color, and it’s not talked about nearly enough.
The most crucial thing I’ve learned from this experience is realizing the importance of my mental health. I’ve taken to reading and writing more as well as sharing my story via social media. I intend on starting a podcast and Youtube channel that speaks to not only my journey, but aims to highlight and support those on a similar path. I don’t have regrets, but I would advise anyone considering making the leap of quitting to ensure you have a strong support system, financial backing, and the stomach to handle the rollercoaster of emotions to follow.
The thoughts expressed are those of the writer. Insider confirmed his previous employment.
Rahkim Sabree is a personal finance influencer, author, speaker, and financial coach who focuses on helping entrepreneurs and business leaders optimize their financial future. Visit his website or connect with him on Twitter.