- August
Posted By : talkingofchinese
I quit my job!

When – at 15 – I decided I would be a journalist, the outlook was always one of low pay, limited job opportunities and no job security.

Universities were (and still are) busily churning out journalism graduates who would never be journalists.

Rather than focusing on this, I decided to do whatever it took to land a job.

So I worked for free. A lot.

Once a week for a year while I was studying I drove out to a tiny town of 5,000 people and worked for free at their weekly paper. It was a one-man paper – the editor was everything from the journalist to the cleaner and he gave me the front page on my first day.

On top of this I did every internship I could get my hands on – as my lecturer (a tough former journalist) said “no one gives a f*** about your marks it’s all about the ‘thud factor’ – the heavier your pile of published articles the bigger the thud when it hits an editor’s desk.”

When I graduated from journalism just as the global financial crisis hit the advice was doom, gloom and lower the hell out of your expectations.

However, all the free work finally paid me back with a ‘thud factor’ that landed me a cadetship at Australia’s national news wire.

I spent three years as a journalist – no two days were the same. My press pass gave me access to an incredible range of people and places. One day I found myself standing in the biggest dry dock (where they fix ships) in the southern hemisphere, another day I was underground in a massive (yet to be used) pipe at a waste management facility. I talked to politicians, scientists, artists, victims of crime, parents of children with heartbreaking medical conditions.

Eventually a pretty brutal cycle of night shifts, early starts and weekend work wore me down and when my long term relationship with the man I’d been with since university fell apart I left journalism and the city as well.

I went back to my hometown and started doing a masters degree in ancient history with the plan of becoming a teacher.

I lived in a share house with a couple and I guy I really didn’t get along with (I would have laughed in your face if you told me he would become my fiance but that’s what happened!)

My disagreeable flat mate – eventual fiance – and I became good friends over the months and then, after a rock climbing accident that left me with a chipped bone in my ankle, we got together. We laugh about it but after the fall I suddenly saw how much he had been taking care of me. He took me to get pain killers and also bought ice cream (I had to explain that ice cream is for when you are sad not when you are in pain!)

I’d always wanted to work a season at the snow and had applied to work a season here in Australia – I attended training on crutches.

Peter’s job happened to finish up not long before I left for the snow so he came with me. We were hooked and went on to work a season at the snow in Japan before returning to the world of real jobs.

At this point I had my luckiest career break. A friend told me a state government minister was looking for a media advisor. His staff were one of those rare groups of people where somehow everyone just clicks. They were like family. I stayed through three portfolios, an election and a change of premier. Leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve done but it was taking everything out of me.

I went to Taiwan and came back to a job at communications consultancy where I was quickly seconded out to a state government agency. Again I was lucky, meeting some people who are now like family to me but I was also unlucky ending up in a toxic situation that drained me. I was eventually sent back to the consultancy and quit the same day.

So here I am. Officially unemployed.

Already I feel a thousand times better than I did two weeks ago.

What’s next? I’ll be posting more soon.

In the meantime I leave you with the quote on this random jumper I saw in mode off (possibly the best second hand clothes chain ever!) in Japan:

“No need to rush now. It is dangerous to run about in the dark.”


no need to rush





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  • Oh, I had missed this post!

    I also felt incredibly good when I finally left my previous job of over 3 years. I took a bit of holidays and then was lucky enough to find my current job.

    Good luck in your new path!

  • I missed this post, too! For some reason, I can never find the “follow” or “subscribe” button on your website, and so I just check back every so often.

    Loved hearing about your job, for all that it was exhausting and didn’t work out in the end. I’m glad you get some time to decompress. And perhaps get a dog.

    I miss the snow and seasons so much, too. Glad you got your skiing in in Japan.

    • Thanks Autumn! You are right, there doesn’t seem to be a subscribe button. I will try to rectify this – I’m a bit of a noob at this blogging thing. We’d love to get a dog but sadly I don’t think we will be able to any time soon – I will keep living the dog ownership adventure vicariously through your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You should now be able to subscribe at the bottom of the homepage or the side of any of the other pages ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dang girl, you’re so impressive! You really have quite the resume! I’m glad you were able to quit and escape a toxic environment. Nothing is worth day in and day out of suffering.

    I also had dreams of becoming a journalist, but I wasn’t as hardcore as you. I took newspaper writing as an undergraduate, and when my teacher talked about walking up at 3 am to cover fires or some brutal murder, etc.. on a weekly basis, and basically being on call for 24/7, I said to myself: no way! I loved magazine writing class much more, although that doesn’t really pay the bills.

    I’m hoping to work in government (next), I hope your experience was a good one there? Do you have any plans after this? I think you should take a travel break! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, best of luck to you! Quitting feels soooooo gooooood… aha.

    • Thanks so much for your kind comment Mary! Yes, the 24 hour news cycle isn’t conducive to having a life! I got really lucky with the ministerial office I worked for in Government – easily the best team I’ve ever worked in. At the moment I am actually filling in for someone for a few weeks at a federal government agency so that’s something new for me. I imagine you would be looking at going into a government department more than a ministerial office is that right?

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