When Good Jobs Go Bad

Back in May I was offered an incredible job, it seemed like a dream job. I got really excited, and of course, I took it.

Fast forward to September, and it doesn’t look nearly as good. I’ve stepped into the middle of a major office politics turf war, one that could even eliminate my current position. I wind up doing a lot of things that weren’t on my job description (trying to fix the organization’s very cluttered website, writing grant proposals, marketing! :eek: ), and it’s just not looking that good. I haven’t had much of a chance to do things I’d imagined upon taking the job. Worst of all, I’m not terribly motivated - I’m not eager at all for work every morning.

Now I wind up checking to see what else is out there…

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

Yeah. Back in 1997 I was offered a job in South Florida. I had lived in the midwest my entire life and the thought of living in Ft. Lauderdale, near the ocean, close to Miami…it was irresistible. Not to mention it was nearly double the salary of what I was making at the time. I couldn’t see a downside so I jumped at the chance.

I had my own office, an office assistant, all my moving expenses were paid and they put me up in an apartment for a month while I found someplace to live.

As it turned out, the company was run by two sexist idiots that had no idea how to treat employees. All they cared about was keeping up their vacation homes and mistresses apartments. When the end came, it was welcome. I moved back to the midwest and realized that Florida is a great place to visit, not to live.


I was hired to run a small copy desk at a small newspaper in Colorado, a promotion in the industry for me. It was a great little town, too, and the newspaper had a young and talented group of writers and editors. It was my dream job, and all went well for several months …

… until my bosses (the editor and publisher) decided that we were going to make not one newspaper, but two!

Before taking on the other newspaper, we were a news desk of three, editing, writing headlines, and laying out and designing a daily newspaper that ran anywhere from 32 pages to 64 pages EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was doable, but we were barely maintaining accuracy and quality in meeting our nightly deadline.

With the addition of the new newspaper, all the journalistic standards went out the window. They gave me ONE additional copy editor, but she had no college education and no editing skills or training, so while she was supposed to be a help, I spent most of my time away from doing my job to train her. She sure did try, though. She had a heart of gold.

The quality of the editing and headline writing suffered, naturally. It was horrible, but the most alarming part of it was that those responsible for upholding the standards of journalism JUST DIDN’T CARE. It was all about cutting costs and increasing profits. Journalism–content and quality–was secondary.

I began looking for other work two weeks after we took on that second newspaper, but I was fired before I could land another job. My bosses didn’t want to hear that I could no longer maintain the same level of quality previously achieved, and trumped up some silly reasons to can me.

I became so disallusioned with journalism after that experience that I decided to leave the industry.