I told my boss I’m quitting yesterday. He wasn’t very happy about it, but since he has no choice, he tried to take it well. I tried to compromise by offering to continue helping during their busy season, which begins in about a month and continues until late September/ early November. I am mostly finished with my graduate application; so far, everything seems to be going well. I have to resubmit a few items I previously submitted to the university during my undergraduate term; otherwise, everything seems to be going smoothly.
How to tell your boss you’re quitting:
1. Smoke Signals: leave something burning in a tepee shape on your desk or forming the word “Goodbye”–bonus points for leaving something outside his door.
2. Write a song: Songs are great ways to convey emotions, especially emotions concerning the years you spent working and struggling to suppress your inner rage and disappointment.
3. Dear John: write your boss a fabulous note on vellum parchment detailing the ins and outs of your psyche and why it will no longer function in your current workspace. Be sure to include what you think of various corporate policies. She may or may not appreciate your honesty, but, hey, you’ll be gone, anyway.
4. Tech-savvy Janet: A “Dear John” for the modern age, it can be a creatively embellished email filled with smiley faces and happy thoughts, or it can be a simple note on the company facebook account. Text messages, however, are not recommended, since sending “I quit 😉 ‘Ritas r on me!!!!!” as a group text can be misconstrued as unprofessional.
5. The Phone Game: Calling in sick is one thing, but calling in permanently out of commission? Well, it can’t hurt until you try. Then, it may hurt a great deal.
6. The Great Escape: Just leave and never come back. Get a new phone and mailing address. Also, don’t expect a reference.
7. The Down & Dirty Nitty Gritty: Plunge headlong into the abyss and tell your boss face to face how you really feel. Maybe not the whole, unvarnished set of feelings, but enough of them to show this isn’t a trick and you are very sorry–or not, your choice–and can no longer work with him. Either he will be upset yet understanding and wish you well, or he will tell you to take your box and consider your final two weeks unpaid vacation.
**While the last option is the most difficult, it is generally the best and most rewarding choice.**
I emailed my spring semester university counselor recently, asking him for advice on my next course of action: should I return as an undergraduate college student yet again and earn more credits in communications, or should I forget going back to college and instead focus on earning a reputation as an independent reporter trying to sell articles? He still hasn’t responded. I can’t blame him for taking his time. He can’t promise I will earn an internship with the aid of additional university contacts and skills, and as a professor he is almost obligated to sell his degree program to participants with means and motivation.
Nevertheless, his conundrum does nothing to ease my own. I feel trapped in an endless cycle of doubt and fear of losing what little I have; yet, I know if I do nothing, I can never break free. I try to be responsible and make choices where I won’t be strangled by debt; instead, I am strangled by indecision.
If no assistance comes from this email, I am not sure what I will do. I know the two best choices are to either quit my current job and take more classes in communications in order to help me better equip myself for a new job, or I can quit my job and move somewhere else to make a better go at becoming a reporter or musician–or something like it.
New beginnings start where old ones end. Today, I am researching how to earn money with my current half-realized hobbies. They include:
- Grammar policing
- forum posting
- reviewing books, movies, music, and comics
- playing and writing music
- writing articles
- writing stories and poetry
- taking photographs of landscapes
- other artsy things, such as painting
- learning languages
While it is a large list, I think some of these points can be made into money-earning ventures. I am debating opening a podcast or similar online program. One of my friends suggested I use youtube, since they pay people with large viewing audiences. Also, I can create different channels for different topics. I also have copies of my old radio show to send as demos to various radio and/or TV stations. In addition, I can always try selling my music on myspace, iTunes, Amazon, or actually going out and performing in local pubs.
I don’t know how you would become a paid critic or reviewer, since so many sites offer free reviews by “regular Joe’s,” but I think Goodreads or similar websites might offer payment for high-capacity reviewers?
I know most companies that publish your work in magazines or collections want you to enter a contest and pay fees–generally to turn you down, but let’s not be too negative. Besides, there’s always self-publishing.
As for getting an editing job, even if you have a background in English literature or grammar, the publishing market–including magazines, periodicals, and online or traditional newspapers–seems inundated with near-homeless Grammarians who are one espresso shot away from madness, and they want an editing position to bring them away from the brink. You have to fight fifty-year-old interns for minimally paying or free positions because their 401k was destroyed and modern medicine keeps them alive to work another day. Nevertheless, there is hope. If you can somehow sneak past the computer watchdogs and let someone who cares see your work, you might have a chance at a new job in editing.
My mom and I had a chat this morning about what I’m going to do, since I am not going to UT. I have firmly expressed my dislike for being a salesperson in the past and present. She reminded me that even if I move to a different city, my past experience is in sales and will probably lead to another sales job if I don’t garner new experience elsewhere. Since I did well in the communications course at our local university, she recommended I look into taking more classes there to help me work my way into the radio/tv/film/news industry. I kind of think she’s right…
Yes, moving to Austin immediately would be fantastic. Yes, it is possible to move somewhere with just spunk and minimal experience and create a niche for yourself. However, it’s much harder than moving with connections. Even my friend Ted who moved to Austin and is now in a semi-successful band had connections in our hometown that helped lift him out of his IT gig and into a touring indie rock band. If briefly going back to school–really going and not just taking a class or two–will help me land a gig at a TV or radio station, then I can deal with living with my mother and putting up with my overly involved family for another year. What worries me is if it doesn’t bear any fruit. If it’s a waste of time and money.
Well, I was accepted to UT. I hoped I would be accepted in their Film, TV, Radio communications program, but I was accepted in my second choice, Asian Cultures and Languages, which is also excellent. However, since I am an out of state resident, I would pay $30,000 per year in tuition for another undergraduate degree, and I wouldn’t qualify for financial aid because I graduated from college with a four year degree already.
Edit: Apparently, I didn’t respond fast enough to UT’s admission, and they reneged their offer. I think it’s better this way, since it wasn’t the degree program I wanted. So long, UT. Hello, Austin.