Should I Quit My Job? HELP!


#1

I edit a magazine and am involved in many other communications vehicles within a professional association. We are extremely short-staffed, and struggling with membership. We currently have five full-time staff (two positions are, for all practical purposes, vacant). And we do huge projects - particularly our two conferences each year (for which I produce the conference materials, and do all the website updates). The President is a nice guy, and bright, but he’s in his early 30s and has huge dreams and huge expectations of an extremely small staff.

One day in late November, I found out that he was unhappy with the magazine production schedule. At the time, I was personally contributing half of the content for the magazine (two large interviews with conference presenters) - and interview transcribing/editing takes a lot of time.

This was coming on the heels of some rather nasty physical problems. I had spent September-October hemorrhaging/bleeding daily, and getting medical tests to find out what was wrong. (Diagnosis: Complex Hyperplasia). I had discussed the symptoms/diagnosis with my bosses. They acknowledged the symptoms but were in denial about the impact on my life.

A few days after being told that the President was unhappy with my inability to hemorrhage and simultaneously do the website, conference materials, write over half the magazine, and get the magazine into production on schedule while having no one to delegate anything to… I started hemorrhaging really badly. Heavy bleeding. Large clots. For most of December.

On the Friday after this started, I woke up with scary heart palpitations and went to urgent care. It was also icing on the roads that morning. After having the doctor tell me to cut down the stress in my life, I chose not drive 15 miles in the ice to my job, assuming that this might be a bit stressful. So my boss wrote me a nastygram, stating that it was her “expectation that” I would have a draft completed on Monday of the magazine action plan for 2008, complete with messaging strategies, alignment with mission/vision/core values, etc. On Monday, I had a very detailed draft complete. She was too busy to read it.

On Wednesday of that week, I came down with a cold that turned into a very bad sinus infection that laid me out from work for a week. During that time, though my boss acknowledged that yes, I really was sick, she sent constant emails telling me to contact this person or that person to get commitments for material for the next issue of the magazine. At the time, I could not sit up at my computer for more than a few minutes at a time without getting exhausted or sicker. I emailed her about this, and she wrote back that maybe I was sick, and maybe we are not supposed to mix sick leave with work, but I still needed to keep the magazine on track.

I got permission from my husband that night (December 20) to quit my job, but I haven’t done so yet. IMO, this job is damaging my health. And judging by my boss’s abusive behavior over the past month, it’s not going to get any better. She also dangled in front of me a Managerial title at one point in October or early November, but she has obviously pulled back on that, apparently under the assumption that I’m “not ready.” This of course ignores the fact that I’m running all aspects of the magazine - including managing the vendors. Job descriptions call what I do “Managing Editor,” but she gets the “Managing Editor” credit because of her Director position. And that does rankle.

From my perspective, I get slammed because there’s too much to do, and unlike my boss, I have no one to delegate anything to (staff of 5). She gets the credit, and the promotion, for my excellent work. (She does virtually no editing work on the magazine - and she’s actually not qualified to edit a magazine). I get to feel like I’m being stepped on.

Yes, I have a resentment. And my anger is starting to boil over into the workplace. In my head yesterday, my internal monologue was automatically assigning swear words to her. And this is always a sign that I’m in spiritually bad shape. I’ve been cooking with this resentment in my head now for the past month, and it’s festering.

I believe I’m being abused and taken advantage of. And I believe that it’s time to pull the trigger on that resignation letter - but there are some large projects to complete. And I actually did like my boss before December. (can you tell I’m torn?).

There’s also the financial insecurity factor. I do not have another job lined up. Thankfully, I’m a writer and editor, I’ve made some good business connections at my workplace, and I can probably find some kind of freelance work in the interim. But the whole thing is scary. And I wonder if I’m just planning to do this to “get even” with my boss. But given my state of mind, I’m not sure I can handle this intolerable situation one more day.

Any advice, suggestions, guidance? Thanks.


#2

hi zerocrossing;

There is NO JOB…NO CAREER… ever worth sacrificing your health for. What I mean by that, is if one’s career/job causes one’s health to deteriorate, then it’s time to move on, in my opinion. It can be tough…but it sounds like you have been a very loyal and tolerant (and patient) employee, and you are not married to your job. We didn’t take vows to stay in sickness and in health…you have been loyal, done your part…it might be best to close this door, and seek to open another one that God has waiting for you. Sometimes, these struggles happen, as God is telling us through the struggle, to move on. It’s not a struggle that is helping you to grow, (as some struggles can be meant for good) but it sounds like this struggle, is one that is actually bringing you and your health down. I will keep you in my prayers. I pray God enlightens you to your next step.

I’m also sorry to hear about your health, and pray for you to be healed, in body mind and spirit. God bless you, and may this pass soon.


#3

“Boss, since you are the Managing Editor, and I think that’s what I’m doing right now, apparently this organization has one too many Managing Editors. So, I guess I’ll leave and let YOU put the magazine together.”

And, I did a quick search on Washingtonjobs.com, and there is a Communications Managing Editor position with the Service employees International Union, among about 20 others. There’s a web content gig in Tysons and some other interesting stuff if you search on Managing Editor.

I’m unhappy in my job right now - can you tell?


#4

Zerocrossing, I think that your experience at the magazine must be pretty common. Northern Virginia is our home, and one of my good friends had a great sounding job as an editor of the journal of an educational association in Reston. They did not have anywhere near the number of employees that were needed to do the work. She was highly qualified, but just burned out. She quit, and now if happy in another job. You need to take care of your health first, and that job second. Since your husband agrees, if I were you, I would quit this stressful job, take care of my health, and then look for another job if you want. As PaulinVA said, there are jobs out there.


#5

It’s my completely unprofessional opinon that that is pretty typical magazine work practice.


If working for a magazine isn’t working for you, then move on to other editing jobs that might be better for your health.


They are professionals and so are you. It is NOT your job to take care of them for when you leave or after you leave.


And it might hurt the ego a bit, but they can and they will find someone to fill the gap. Suchis the nature of employment. If nothing else that dear soon to be exboss can do it.


#6

If it were a magazine workplace, I’d probably have a staff of at least two more people. And I could manage with just one more person.

Actually, it’s more a matter of protecting my brand than of codependently taking care of them. I’m project lead on a couple of a big projects, and leaving in the middle could appear unprofessional both to them and to the marketplace. I’m planning to offer them the the option of using me in a contract capacity until those projects are completed (in early March). That changes the relationship and gives me more freedom but does not appear irresponsible or unprofessional. And if they say no, it’s on them. I will have done my part to help in the transition by making the offer. And of course, I will give sufficient notice.

The thought of her copy editing a magazine is :rotfl: Thanks!

And yes, they’ll find somebody. But they may have to cut down the job description or significantly raise the salary. (The job kept growing because of my Web and multimedia capabilities; the salary and title did not grow in proportion with my expanded media responsibilities).


#7

:rotfl:

I hear you! I’ve been searching the job sites for a month now, and updating my LinkedIn profile, and getting new connections, and getting endorsements of my work.


#8

I feel your stress! I am in a similar situation. My boss is a terror. I won’t get into the details since this is your thread, but one example is that my boss thinks it is perfectly normal to not allow a person a break during a 6-10 hour shift and not allowing a lunch even though it is illegal.
I will however tell you this, I did walk out on my job and after I got home and talked to my bf he expained how I was not in the position to quit. He has been helping me financially for a while now and if I quit he would have to pay for everything and he can not. He pointed out that I need to stick with this job until I can afford a car and find a better job. That I made a mess of my life and I am not in the position to call the shots just yet. After some thinking, I agreed with him. Primarily, quitting would have caused me more grief than not. I would not have anyway to go out and put in applications, and no way to pay the bills. I decided the logical decision was to stay until I could get another job.

My advice to you is this…would quitting before finding another job cause you more stress? You mentioned financial difficulties if you quit. If you can stick it out a few more weeks while you apply to jobs, then I suggest you do, unless it is too serious to do so. I mean if you find another job, give notice, and leave, you will have them as a reference and you will feel good that you did things the right way. As well as avoiding the stress of having no income and no job.
Find newspaper ads for jobs, apply online and if you can go to job interviews while on a lunch break or a scheduled day off.

However, if your health is too severe and staying even for another month is going to affect it too much, by all means leave. Only you can judge which option is best for you. Don’t let this boss push you to quit when you really can’t, but don’t let this job affect your health so severely that you end up in the hospital.


#9

Thank you for your feedback. I loved the part about not taking vows re: our jobs! I’ll keep that in mind. And thank you for the prayers for my health and healing. I appreciate them very much!


#10

Thanks for telling me your friend’s story. I definitely feel the burnout factor. And it’s good to know that there are other jobs out there beyond the crazy burnout ones!


#11

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