Reply To: Ask the experts
Hi ladies, I have a question that I am sure you have been asked many times.
I’m a fire starter (small dash of side hustler). I am working in stakeholder engagement and communications/media full time. while running my own wedding planning and styling business.
In February, I quit my comms/engagement job of almost 6 years in government to take up a related comms/engagement job at a University. The government job allowed me a lot of autonomy (my boss was always uninterested in what I did and liked me to take charge run the whole show and that kind of suited me), but it was a toxic environment for a number of reasons (very poor leader, poor decision maker and very weak) with no prospects to ever move up or sideways.
At the same time the business was becoming successful and making a little money (not much), but I had realised it wasn’t the right business for me (one on one nature of it and physical hard work wasn’t making enough money for time and I was SAD and had lost all enthusiasm).
So I stopped taking wedding clients and went for an impressive job with a big payrise at a respected institution and got it.
I started in the new job in February and I have been utterly MISERABLE ever since. My new director is very controlling (tells me what to do in my work AND spare time, strongly insinuates I can’t do work outside of the university even though agreed to it before I started, making me drive 3 hours to a different campus once a week (not in my position description) etc.). PLUS the workload is so out of control I can’t work on anything outside of the job anyway. PLUS he is giving me ineffective tasks not in my job description so I can’t get to the strategic bits (including getting mugs for the lunch room printed with our team rules)..etc. etc. etc…. Many other reasons I hate it not listed (you don’t have all year) haha…
I burst into tears in the restroom about ten times in 6 weeks. I started going to a counsellor to help me with the anxiety and sadness I was experiencing and seeing a physio due to the neck and back pain I have had due to stress. I KNEW I had to quit.
THEN I found your course and everything reaffirmed this. I felt enlightened, excitied, free, hopeful, alive….until I heard the bit in the course about firestarters jumping ship too early and taking risks too soon. Now I’m second guessing this decision.
So even though I had tried (gently) to do this already I took the advice given in the course and spoke to my director about what I wanted to achieve for the team, where my skills were best served, the projects I’d like to take on. I talked to him about my workload and that to perform well I needed support etc.. his reaction was only barely supportive. I can tell his way of managing me is not going to shift, and that he is not going to offer me much in the way of change.
SO…I have some options:
1. Quit now. University job will not be on my CV (not there long enough to put it on). I know I can get a little consulting work in communications here and there (not much) and build my NEW business idea of online wedding planning course/virtual coach type experience. My husband and I will be poor (but wouldn’t lose our house, just no luxuries, might be using the credit card a LOT haha).
2. Wait until 6 months into the job and let the university pay for some communications training I want to finish (mid way through a course) and maybe get a reference before leaving. Build up my contacts for consulting and business on side (if can do it inbetween day job committments)
3. Wait until 12months is up and definitely have it as a solid job on my CV. As above with all other things (more time though)
Sorry its sooooo long, I just found this one thing about not jumping too soon stopped me in my tracks. Otherwise I feel pretty good about the kind of environment I need to be in and HOW I need to follow my passion!
Much love… Jane.