We spend a third or more of our weekdays on the clock, and some of us work more than a third of our weekend too, so wouldn’t it make sense to find a career path we’re passionate about and love what we’re doing every day? You would think so, but there are too many people out there who absolutely loathe their jobs. Maybe you make decent money but get treated like shit or maybe your boss treats you great but you need a second job just to make ends meet. It doesn’t matter what you hate about your job, if you dread going in every day and count the hours until the weekend, you may want to start looking for other employment opportunities.
Last year, I was in that boat. Unfortunately for me, I grew up in a small town with few opportunities to make it big. I didn’t really want to stay around home forever, but I was fresh out of college with no experience, and I knew if I ever wanted to be successful, I’d need to start at the bottom of the totem pole. I applied for an internship with a local company I had been following on LinkedIn for a while. In the beginning, everything was perfect. I had no problems with anyone I worked with, and the boss was amazing. She was who I wanted to be in 5-10 years.
I was an intern with that company for 4 months, and just when I was about to move on from the company and search for other opportunities in different cities, two of the best people I worked with had quit. My boss had told me she liked my inspiration, strength, and creativity, and hired me as a contract worker until she could find another place for me. I was really excited that I was finally getting my chance at a full-time career, and I got along swimmingly with everyone there, so I was ecstatic. Even though two of my favorite people had left, I thought I could get over it and keep the culture alive.
Boy, was I wrong.
Shortly after becoming a contract worker, I slowly started seeing clearly the tornado they called a business. They really do know what they’re talking about when they say the boss in a company is everything. My boss was a micro-manager, to me at least, even though she swore up and down she wasn’t. She was on me all the time about what I was doing and it never seemed to be up to her standards even though I worked my ass off for her. She’d single me out every chance she got.
I worked from home 3 days each week, so I knew it was bad when I hated my job and only had to go in 2 days a week. I would make my 45 minute drive there and back two days each week, have anxiety attacks in my car before going in the office, and breathe heavy sighs of relief on my way home. My dad told me to stick it out because I needed experience, but I could only handle so much.
5 months of dealing with micro-managing, being unhappy every day, and not being challenged enough, and spending every hour I wasn’t working or sleeping seeking new job opportunities, another internship came my way in Music City. Something I always wanted to do was right at my fingertips, but before I could jump at the dream opportunity, I had to have a long and difficult conversation with my parents about why I desperately needed out of my current situation, and why I felt the need to move 6 hours away. Luckily, they understood all the points I presented and agreed it was the best decision for me, so I finally was able to put in my two weeks at the place I called hell, and make my way to Nashville for a 3-month music internship.
As soon as I told my boss I was moving on, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I never felt as free as I did in that moment. In a way, I was leaving an abusive relationship: the way I was treated was uncalled for, and once I got out, I was finally able to breathe easy again. As bad as my previous job was, I gained career experience, learned a lot from some of the best people there who are still my mentors today, and learned a lot about myself and what I wanted out of my future career.
I understand it’s not always easy to leave a job, especially if you’re supporting a family, but if you’re unhappy, it doesn’t hurt to look around. You never know what you’ll find unless you try. Plus, you’ll thank yourself later when you’re happier in a new position over being miserable day in and day out in your old position. All the money in the world can’t make up for a shitty boss. It’s true what they say: “people leave managers, not companies.” You could be employed at the coolest company in the world, but if you have a bad manager, your whole employment experience will be bad. We all deserve to be happy, especially with our careers.
Featured Image Via Ariel Rae