Welcome to the first episode of the podcast, All the Things with the Magical Cartographers.
Here, four spicy ass women from different backgrounds come together to share their intimately real stories of growth, heartache, and personal greatness, in order to inspire you to do the same.
In a series of roundtable conversations, these friends will map out the uncharted territories of who they are and how they want to show up in the world.
This maiden episode doesn’t shy away from diving deep as the Cartographers introduce themselves and explore the implications of exiting old systems and paving New Beginnings
Stay tuned for Episode 2, The Exit Interview, Part II, as the Cartographers review and give their personal responses to questions from KJ’s actual Exit Interview.
For full transcript, go here: tinyurl.com/3m25v42e
Continue the conversation about Endings, Exits, and Beginnings with The Magical Cartographers in real-time!
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All The Things Live!
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on Tuesday, January 25th at 5 PM PST | 8 PM EST
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Show Music: “Mojo” by Noise Cake
Episode 1: Meet The MCs & Exit Interview - Part 1
MEL: Welcome to all the things podcast where four spicy ass women are sharing our stories of growth, heartache, and personal greatness in order to inspire you to do the same because you are freaking amazing and it's time we start talking about all the things.
This is super exciting as our first official episode, with three of the most incredible women I have ever met.
I am not going to start this podcast by crying. You all will hear the cries throughout however many years this goes on for, but not today. At least not in the intro here, because today we are starting with the end in mind.
We are starting today with the exit interview and in starting this new adventure, it just seems super important for us to think about why we wanted to get together and create something beautiful and magical and create a space where we can talk about real shit, real-world issues, how amazing we are, how scared we are and all of this happened during a lot of transition that was happening with our lovely KJ and in the midst of conversation came the opportunity for an exit interview. And I think all of us just kind of were like “WHAT THE?” exit interview, what is the patriarchy really going on here with these exit interviews?
And so. Yeah. So we're kind of starting here, starting here at the end so that we can burn this shit down and start something new and magical. So if KJ, if you can share with us a little about you and where this exit interview came in your life, and how you feel about this topic of burning shit down and starting over again?
KJ: That was very therapist-y Mel…
MEL: Maybe in another life.
KJ: Well, I think now too, you have a very warm, welcoming, engaging, inviting presence, much like a therapist to say, how do you feel about this? Right. Well, thank you friend. I'm so happy that we're finally doing this. I don't say finally, like this has been a long time in coming, although maybe in another life it has been.
This actually happened really quickly. I feel like it unfolded really quickly that we all came together. Right. And we decided to do this…
MEL: But it does feel like we've been waiting about seven lifetimes. And I think we have maybe the four of us have really been cycling each other in various lifetimes. I'm going to just kick this off with all the woo.
Maybe in multiple lifetimes, we've been circling each other, and this is the time where all the stars aligned the stars being us, obviously to get this going. So, yeah. But it did come together super quick. Once we spoke it into the universe, it appeared.
KJ: It appeared. And so it just happened to fall at the same time, or it's not, I don't believe in coincidences, but it really came at a time When I was searching and making some decisions to transition, and that looked like leaving my full-time corporate healthcare job that I've been in for the last seven years. And I had tossed around the idea of leaving in different forms and formats. And then this year, I finally just did it and it was with the help, support of amazing, amazing friends and family members and that includes you ladies.
And so very quickly, again, it didn't feel like it was quick. It was a long time in coming; where I knew I needed to make a shift from this position, but it seemed to go very quickly. Once it was decided that I was leaving and became known, you ladies were with me the day that I received notification from our HR that said that I have to fill out a form that says that I am voluntarily demoting myself.
It opened up a whole bunch of conversations for all of us because of the language behind that, me making the decision to take care of myself to follow creative yearnings. But also what I know is best for myself as a person in service to the world. To have to sign on the dotted line that I am voluntarily terminating myself from this position almost of, privilege, like how dare I. And so along the same line, I also received a request to do an exit interview, but this is after I'd already left this company that had caused so much heartache. And so, I am stunned by it. And then I brought it to you gals and said, “Can you believe this fucking bullshit?”
What do we think about an exit interview? And so then we just sort of said, “Ladies, let's talk about this.” Let's talk about the exit interview and then let's apply this to what we're doing in this world mapping and designing out these new ways of being. And so we thought, what if we applied exit interviews to what we, as Magical Cartographers are doing, leaving one era behind or one container behind and stepping into something new. Hence these meetings and this podcast, I think really just, it came together. So that's what we're doing. That's what we're doing.
MEL: You know, most of us leave a job because things aren't great. Or there's no room for growth or things like that and to wait to have a conversation with someone until they're one foot out the door, I think such a prime example of the bullshit that we're trying to create spaces to talk about.
So Ish really kind of spearheaded this starting here at the end, so that we really can start identifying what these, I don't love the word triggers, but what some of these ridiculous scenarios are that we are ready to finally walk away from and start to do something new.
And so I would love for you Ish, to tell us a little bit more about why this resonated so easily.
ISH: When KJ came to us and was like, they've asked her to do an exit interview it just really bothered me to no end. And I know that it is part of what companies do. And I'm not saying that there's not any value in it, but for me, I think, I don't remember exactly what I said, KJ in the chat, but I think it was along the lines of they could have asked these questions all along.
Right. And so that's, that is what I think in general, the exit interviews, really why they bother me. It's like, well, if there were issues, we should be listening to them all along. So then it feels like, and why it resonated and why it was a trigger for me, is it's lip service. That's what it boils down to. Oh, well, listen to you now, we're going to do something about that, but then the culture of the company or companies or whatever, doesn't really change.
And that bothers me. Again, there might be some things that people won't feel comfortable saying in the course of working somewhere, but that shouldn't be something that we find out during an exit interview. And I think for me, this concept of us doing the exit interview is like, here is all of the BS that we're just really going to talk about and identify, but we're going to really create and chart our own ways. I want people to feel very comfortable in saying, yeah, no, thank you. We're done. I'm done. Literally. I am done. It has got to be different. I want the exit interview for us.
We’re not okay staying the same. So we're going to call out all the BS and. Hopefully be able to show people new steps forward that we've taken, or guests that we're going to have on have taken, or just be scary and saying, this really sucks right now that it is this way, but we're calling it as it is we're putting all the cards on the table and we're going to move forward. From that, cause the paradigm is going to be new. It has to be different. We are going to relive so many mistakes of what has happened over and over again in the past. The four of us are not, we're just not, we're done.
MEL: Yeah. I love that was such a Scorpio answer there at the end of the year. And we're done my job. We're done. Yeah. Yeah. And, and that's. What we're going to be doing is actually looking at some of the questions that KJ received as exit interview questions. And to your point is, you know, part of it is, yeah, If you're trying to get a wrap-up and a summary, and when you're making this transition, what can we do? How can we make this easier, better for the next person? Sure. Let's do that. Right. And hopefully, that's happening all throughout, well, not now because you've handed in your paperwork, but as you'll see, as we go through these questions, and I think as most of us have probably seen these questions are much more accusatory, right?
They're much more like, “You're obviously leaving because you did something wrong or you don't like how things already were going.” Which again is like a nice little kick in the ass when you're already on the way out. And so for Jocelyn, you've been out of corporate-y, a boss telling you like hovering over you for probably longer than the rest of us. Definitely longer than the rest of us. And I think the other part that makes this conversation so relevant is this idea of a similar type of exit interview with clients that you have and them leaving and what feels like the same pressure of like, well, why are you leaving? Are you sure? Is it the money?
There can be a lot of ugliness that happens, even if you're not working for an organization, a larger business, even having your own business and working with clients, this idea of how are you ending things. With the people that you're working with and for, and have you created some systems to make sure that it's a nice transition, that it isn't this ugly, garbage, you go out of your way to close out the work that you do with people.
And so you obviously have some experience with shitty exit interviews in the past. I'd love for you to talk about from that perspective of, working with clients and, ending those types of relationships, how this ugliness shows up how we need to move away from it a bit.
JOCELYN: Well, first I went feral about 20, 25 years ago in my mid-twenties and it wasn't so much because of exit interviews, there was a lot of other things going on, but it was a lot of just the basic corporate culture that we've talked about and the feeling that once you're gone or you moved on your presence never really mattered.
It's that sense of you've given top precious time, your immortal soul, your energy, your caring to something and they chew you up, they spit you out and they move on to the next person and when you're exiting, it's like, I'm exiting I'm out the door. I’m mentally, emotionally gone. It's like Ish said, mic drop, I'm out. It’s not like things were going well unless I was moving or something. I don't want to sit and talk with somebody about this.
In my own business I try really hard to let the people know I work with that, their time, their money, their immortal soul, their presence, it matters. And I'm checking in all the time. And it's not what have you done? What have you not done? I'm checking back on, how can we work together better? How can we move forward? And it's really about keeping a relationship.
These exit interviews are a checkbox for some human resource department that maybe goes into a file somewhere and probably nobody ever looks at it. Again, it gets stapled to somebody's employment record goes into a file, and is gone.
Nobody's sitting down probably, and looking at these. Nobody's thinking about these. So for me, I try and keep it all very personable people matter. And these kinds of exit interviews are basically, kinda like getting flipped off. You don't matter, see ya, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
MEL: If you turn your keys in, great.
JOCELYN: Great, great. Yeah. Is your desk cleaned out? Great.
KJ: Yeah, wanted to point out that I still haven’t my interview yet.
MEL: And how long has this been in the making at this point?
KJ: Exactly. Like they first knew that I was looking and interviewing for other jobs in June. At the time of this recording we’re just past Thanksgiving. So yeah, pretty funny.
JOCELYN: Why would you want to go back and do this? And two clearly it's not a priority for them. How do you feel about all these things? I mean, it's just like, yeah, why?
MEL: Right. It obviously is not important to any of the processes here, even if you don't step back and think about how it's affecting the person who's leaving, who's already gone through all of the mental anguish that it takes to decide it's time to leave an institution, even if you don't think about that, which you should obviously, but just from a dollars and cents perspective, a time-wasting perspective. I mean, why, why bother?
KJ: I think that's what one of Ish’s first comments was when I brought this to you ladies, I think you said something along those lines Ish where you said, I'm curious, are they going to do anything with this? What will these answers impact? Where is this going to go? And as Jocelyn just said, is it going to be stapled to the back of a piece of paper and filed away forever in HR that no one ever looks at? Probably.
JOCELYN: And what kind of truth do you answer these questions with? I'm miserable. I hate you all. This company sucks. No, I'm not appreciated. I'm leaving.
KJ: Yeah. Yeah.
JOCELYN: Or you lie, and say, I'm moving to Kansas.
KJ: And on the surface that is right. I'm moving. And then no one knows really why.
ISH: And I think the thing, so, you know, I, had made the statement that the exit interview could be a value. I think that there is a scenario where an exit interview can be of value. So let's say you are in a company and 10 people leave within a couple of weeks of each other. Well, you know what, you're gonna get on the phone and you're going to start asking, or on zoom as it may be, and ask some questions. Right. But I do, find that it is such a checkbox.
ISH: It is such a checkbox. I'll just bring it back. Like part of the reason we are together and part of our pull towards each other has been in really in the empowering of women. And a lot of exit interviews, I think for women are about not being supported in the workplace as women. Not being supported when you have young kids and one of them may get sick. And this is not about not coming into work frequently. It's like, you know, real legitimate reasons and the inflexibility around that. A lot of women are looking for that flexibility. Not because they don't want to work, but because they want to do a really good job, they love their job, but they've got other priorities as well.
That's one of the things that I think keeps coming out of exit interviews when it's related to women. Not being recognized for all of the things that women do in the workplace.
MEL: Yeah. For clarity's sake, I just want to let everyone know because we have these conversations internally all the time. So when we're talking about women specifically, because we will definitely talk primarily about women, not that this podcast is not for everyone, it absolutely is, but there is a very distinct difference between the way that people who are living as women are treated in this country, specifically in the United States.
So when we are talking about women in those contexts and even moms in those contents, that's who we're talking about. We’re talking about anyone who is either, has been born and raised as a woman and treated as a woman, seen as a woman by society, or who currently is now living that experience of navigating this world and this bullshit as a woman, because there are tremendous differences here. And that doesn't mean that the opposite of that, or another variation of that doesn't struggle because 100%, that is the case.
But for each of us in this room, we have been raised as women and to share our experiences it's like night and day. So I just wanted to make that clarification for everyone listening. I think that's really important.
JOCELYN: Well, and the other thing that I find really interesting about this interview is it's assuming that something was wrong. It's not like, it's like, well, I got this awesome promotion and I'm moving on and the world is fabulous. It's assuming a negative. It's trying to get to why you're unhappy and leaving.
MEL: And to Ish’s point, there are times when certainly you want to glean information. If there's something that has happened, that we, as a company, need to work on, need to understand why there's a mass exodus. So what would be ideal is having, if you want to call it an exit interview, like tell us about your experience. Tell me, you know, what can we pass on to whoever is coming after you to help them to grow and to benefit. And what do you want to impart to us about your experience that we can then move forward with? And again, not in that accusatory tone and the, well, obviously it was you something's wrong with you. And so now you're leaving because it's clearly not us.
KJ: Yeah. Another fun layer is that this is a behavioral health, a mental health company, that I'm withdrawing from. I don't see anywhere in there, recognizing health, emotional, physical, otherwise for a healthcare company. There's no reference to how we could make this a healthier environment, or how might your emotional and mental health be implicated by this work, in this mental health company? I just feel like, I don't know if it's irony, what we would call this, but when…
MEL: I call it bullshit.
KJ: But it's bullshit when I have to exit a position with a mental health organization because my mental health has not been taken care of.
JOCELYN: Well, it's very much a template. This is just like, do a search on Google for exit interview templates and you can pull this up from any HR department. You’re exactly right. They're not even personalizing this to you. A checkbox.
ISH: It's like an injury. If you break your ankle. You have been unhappy. It’s like traumatizing you one last time before you actually leave the company. It just so bothers me because these are the things that, regardless of whether you are in a large, corporate organization or you own your own business.
And we'll talk about this at some point, how a lot of people are leaving the corporate world to start their own business only for us to really see that the corporate world is being applied to the small business world and these same principles. And it's like, I don't know. It's just is, these are the things that we should be caring about in our businesses, whether we are working for somebody or we're working for ourselves, that we shouldn't wait.
I tell people in an evaluation if I'm evaluating you and I'm telling you things, and it comes as a complete surprise to you guess what? I haven't done my job. Because there should not be an evaluation that comes as a complete surprise.
ISH: If you've been doing your job correctly the whole entire time. So for me, the exit interview just highlights that the folks that are supposed to be doing their jobs, they're not doing their job.
KJ: Yeah. I did wonder if actually, will this not only not be seen and filed away somewhere, it was for that exact reason that you just highlighted, Ish, that they don't want to be put on blast for the fact that they're not doing their jobs. So I did wonder that as well.
It's so funny. Cause we're talking about these questions on this questionnaire and it is that's exactly right, Jocelyn, it’s a template.
And so we'll share these questions with everybody, but one of the questions that we thought we would highlight today, isn't even on here, which we're already talking about, which is why the hell now? Why an exit interview? Why is it necessary? What are you going to do with it?
And so I love that we've already, gotten into some of the juicy bits and I have a whole bunch of questions now that have come up just from today's conversation about what I'd love to explore with you, ladies, around timing and the way you might separate or complete a transaction or a relationship, but I say transaction to be cold.
Cause this is kind of cold, but when we talk about relationships like Jocelyn, you had spoken about how, you know, it's time to be finished working with your clients. There's definitely a different approach and a different conversation. The different language used when we're talking about relationships and we're talking about successes and collaborations that have happened together.
This template here of these exit interview questions is cold and detached and one size fits all. Which is a total disservice. So just wanted to point that out and thank you already for bringing up some of the things that are like lightning rods for us, which is like, well, let's talk about how women have not been supported. How about mental health? How about a sort of collaborative fluid conversation instead of, there's a point A and then there's a point B. And at point B that's when we have these conversations.
That's not how this world is working now. Certainly not today.
MEL: I kind of think about these conversations in terms of these being the prequel conversations to our podcast. Even though these will be the first episodes.
We know how important it is to think about the need to end something. Right? In order to have a real transformation, you have to allow things to completely end so that you can begin something new.
And in our next couple of podcast episodes, we're going to layer this kind of on top of not just exiting a job, and how the patriarchy falls into this and how class systems fall into this and race issues fall into this.
But also for our lives, as we think about what needs to be ended, how are we ending our relationships with intimate partners, with friends, with just the people around us, people leaving because they have other priorities.
COVID, if nothing else, has certainly taught us the value of community and priorities. How we need to prioritize ourselves within those communities that we're a part of. And that is looking more and more like, I don't need to sit in this office and have an endless stream of meetings and crap in order to make this company, or make anything else, better.
Part of these conversations that we will be having and why we want to have these conversations is because all of the things mean that all of these issues touch every part of our life. And because we haven't historically been great at sharing these conversations, sharing these experiences with other people, for us, it's so important to just have the conversation.
No one here is going to say, “I have the answer. I know what's right. I'm going to tell you the 1, 2, 3 steps to make your life perfect and earn 10 figures.”
This really is about having a conversation, opening the door and bringing all of you, everyone that's listening, and bringing everyone into this conversation because we need to have these conversations all the time about all the things.