Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Charlottesville, VA

October 21, 2019

Signs It Might Be Time to Leave Your Job.

     I am so fortunate to currently have a job that I dreamed about as a little girl: being a radio host. That dream got a bit more specific once I entered broadcasting school after college, when I specifically wanted to be a morning radio host. At age 24, that dream came true! I've been a morning show co-host for almost a whole year, and my job is just as fun and enjoyable as I always hoped it would be.
     However, my start in the radio world was far from being my dream job. Things got so bad at my first full-time radio job that I actually considered quitting broadcasting altogether, and moving back home with my parents temporarily to figure out my life and find some other sort of full time job. Yikes!! I am so thankful that I gave radio another chance with a different station and company (and never had to move back home 😅), but I sure did come close to giving everything up, because I was in such a bad spot. My feelings of desperation were all due to the fact that my first job was such a miserable experience, for a variety of reasons. Today I'm going to share some observations and warnings from my first job that helped me make the decision to leave and find a new one! While the radio industry can be very specific and unique, a lot of the things I was dealing with could happen in a variety of jobs, so I hope this post will be applicable to those in all different industries!
     


     Let me refresh you on a little background about my first full-time radio job. I was on track to graduate from broadcasting school back in Charlotte in May 2017, but my apartment lease was ending in April, so I wanted to ideally have a radio job offer by March. I spent January and February 2017 furiously applying to entry-level full-time radio positions all over the country, and was offered my first job in Burlington, Vermont in mid-February, so timeline wise with finishing school/lease ending it worked out great! Most radio and TV jobs are based on year-long contracts, and I was to move to Vermont and begin my new job in early April 2017.
     I've spoken at great lengths before on the blog about how much I didn't like living in Vermont and had difficulties feeling at home and building a life there, but I was always careful to only share about my life outside of work in Vermont. Today's blog post is really the first time that I've ever publicly spoken about my job there (which was of course the reason I was in Vermont). As much as I disliked my personal life there... I hated my job even more. It truly felt like the entire world was against me during my time in Vermont, since things weren't great both at work and out of work. I didn't hate my job at first (radio was my dream after all!), but after just a couple months of being there I realized that I was truly in a toxic work situation.

     One disclosure before I get into the main part of this post: even though there were a lot of negatives about my first job, not everyone that I worked with was apart of the bad. I do still keep in touch with a few coworkers from that job, and the ones that remain my friends have all been extremely supportive of my move to Virginia and pursuing radio here. I am so thankful that even in a bad situation like I had during my first year in radio, I still was able to meet a few really great people who I hope to stay in touch with for years to come. (But with that said- there were still definitely more cons than pros at this job, and even having a few people I really liked in the company definitely wasn't enough to keep me there!)


     Signs It Might Be Time to Leave Your Job:

     1. You are severely underpaid: First an important note- very few people are making their dream salary at their first full-time position out of college. It often takes years and years to be earning what's considered an "average" salary for your field- because experience in the work world is needed. But with that said, there are absolutely companies that still seriously underpay both entry level and experienced workers, and I worked for one of them in Vermont. 
     I made under $30k at my first full-time job in Vermont. It pains me just to type that out, because I remember how overworked I was and how many weeks I worked more than 40 hours (and I was salary so I didn't make overtime.) Radio and TV are sadly notorious industries for low salaries for entry-level positions, but what I made there was still well below the already low average. Let's just say I was very thankful that 2017 ended up being a good year financially for my blog- it was truly a blessing to have a second source of income during that time! 
     I knew that if I stayed for a second year at that job, I wouldn't get a raise or I would get an extremely minimal one. Always know your worth! If you are severely overworked and/or frequently putting in overtime, your salary should reflect this. You most likely won't be making your dream income within a few years after school, but you should be paid a fair and average salary for your industry. 

     2. Your boss or management team isn't trying to help you succeed: Not everyone will be buddy-buddy with their boss, and oftentimes people don't love their boss's specific work or management styles. But a good workplace will still have everyone working towards common goals to advance the company, and be in a team mentality. If your boss or supervisor isn't trying to help each of their employees continue to grow and learn, I would be wary! Your full-time career should be an opportunity for you to continually be growing in your field and trying new things. At my job in Vermont, I often didn't feel like I received the support and guidance I needed as a new employee in a new-to-me industry. I would sometimes have to go to other managers in the building (that weren't my bosses) to have questions answered or learn more things, since I wasn't feeling fully supported by my own. 

     3. Your permanent schedule makes life outside of work miserable: All jobs are jobs, and everyone has rough days and weeks from time to time. That's a given as an adult! But if your long-term or permanent schedule is making life outside very difficult, it might be time to revaluate your job. I worked six days a week in Vermont, and only had one day off. The only few traditional weekends I had during my year there were ones I used PTO for. I worked Tuesday-Sunday, and had Mondays off. Saturdays actually ended up being my longest workdays- I was live on two stations back-to-back with no lunch break, and would usually be at work for almost 10 hours. Here I was, a single 22 year old girl in a new city and new state- attempting to make friends and build a life for herself with only Mondays off. Spoiler alert: it was next to impossible. 
     Obviously some jobs do require weekend hours, and employers often do give the less than desirable shifts to those that are new. But working a mandatory six days a week shouldn't be the norm- and if it absolutely has to be you should be getting proper compensation with pay or PTO for the tough schedule (and I had neither of those). 

     4. The company supports things that violate your personal morals: Earlier on in my time in Vermont, I was asked to voice a radio commercial for a company that completely goes against my Christian values, and is not something that I would ever support in my personal life. I was scared to speak up and went along with recording the commercial, even though I would later cringe every-time I heard it on air. 
     Shortly before I left my job, another similar situation came up. This time I was brave enough to speak up, and I'm so proud I did. One of the radio stations that the company owned was having a big event at a local movie theater for the premiere of the final 50 Shades of Gray movie. The whole 50 Shades books and movies are also something that go against my personal values and faith, and I didn't feel comfortable being at a work event where that was being promoted. I did speak up to a few of the managers about my concerns. Some of them were understanding and respectful, but I'll never forget how one made me feel badly and tried to guilt me into still coming, which lead me to feel awful. At my current job in Virginia, I've never once felt put in a situation where I had to endorse something or work an event that goes against my morals. The fact that it happened multiple times at my previous job is a big warning sign to me now. 

     5. You don't like the area that you work/live in: I am pretty sure that if I had the same job I had in Vermont but I had it in Charlotte,Charlottesville, or another city that I liked a lot better... I would've lasted longer. It definitely still wouldn't have been a forever thing due to all the negatives, but if I was passionate about where I lived and had a strong friend network locally, I probably could've made it another six months or so, maybe even another year or two!
    Broadcasting especially is a tough industry to be in when you don't like where you live. Local radio is exactly that- local. I never grew to be a fan of Vermont- I didn't like the harsh winters and a lot of the cultural differences. It was hard for me to convey enthusiasm on-air for local content since I didn't like it myself. If you're really miserable at your job, it's so important to have solid community outside of work. I didn't have that in Vermont, so when work started becoming pretty toxic I truly felt like I was drowning in all parts of my life.


     I could go on and on with many more reasons that it might be time to leave your job or industry, but I think these top five reasons are the most important. Every job is a job and that means everyone has days where work isn't fun. Some days a job really does just feel like a job. Some days you'll work late, and some days you'll be swamped with busy work. I think that's a fact for every job out there! The key is to work in a job where the good days outnumber the bad, and you're never questioning your purpose and goals. The little issues and annoyances that I have now at my current job seem so minor compared to what I dealt with in my first year working! It always helps me put things in perspective.


     Thanks so much for reading! I hope this was helpful to anyone who might be at a crossroads career-wise or in a toxic job situation.


     God Bless,


      xoxo Annaliese 

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6 comments

  1. Annaliese, I'm so proud of you for taking such a difficult step to make such a positive life change. It is so so clear that you are so much happier in Charlottesville, both with work and your personal life! So happy that you are so much happier now :)

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com 

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  2. A great post, so glad you found another job in the industry that you like!

    I quit my long time job (I only worked part time at this time) a few years ago, used to love it before a lot of changes happened in the company, and loved the people I worked with. But they had cut so many employees that we were swamped AT ALL TIMES. The day I decided to quit I had worked from 8am and was not able to go to lunch until almost 4pm. I still miss my coworkers but I am enjoying my stay at home mom job so much more!
    Ellibelle's Corner

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  3. I am so glad you love your job right now! This is such a great post topic, I get in my comfort zone and I struggle to leave a job even if I don’t love it. Luckily I’ve never had a toxic work environment, but I have stayed at jobs where I was very underpaid and dreaded going in. This is such great advice! I just love your outfit by the way. Too cute!

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  4. This post is going to help so many people! I really appreciated your personal experiences and lessons.

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  5. These are all really great points! I'm starting my new job in about 1.5-ish weeks, so I'm hopeful to not encounter any of these, but definitely will keep these in mind! I'm glad you love your job now!

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  6. What a cool job!! That's pretty awesome :) I love this list and couldn't agree more with all of this. Thanks for sharing girl.

    XO, Katie | http://www.meshkomoments.com

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