You might be wondering why there wasn’t an update on Friday. Well that’s because I just quit my job and it just happened to be a rather busy day additionally. So here is the long version as to why I quit my job as a copy editor with my local newspaper. But before you continue reading, I swear this is in no way a long list of complaints. I am actually really glad I had this job.
Honestly, I never really wanted the job in the first place. Not because I had heard stories about how the place operated or anything. No. Because I just didn’t want it. I learned very quickly in college that I did not like journalism in the slightest bit. I hated all the rules and standards and styles you have to follow, but I especially hated not having the freedom to write what I wanted to write. So when the opportunity came to be a copy editor the first time, I simply ignored it. When the ad came around again a few months later, I decided that the only way to get the experience I needed to start off my career (or whatever the hell this is) was to take the job. Luckily for me, my uncle, who was well-known throughout my community, had recently died after several years of working at this exact newspaper. I figured all I had to do was say I was his nephew and they’d hire me. Other the the fact that I was his nephew, I really had no outstanding “qualifications” for the position, so that must’ve been it right?
August 2016. Within the first few weeks, I was already ready to walk out the door and never come back. Not even because of interpersonal stuff. Like I said before, I never even wanted the job, but I saw it as a necessary step to get the experience for better things. I knew that I had absolutely no real interest in doing the work. I knew going in that I didn’t want to write a damn thing because I hate being told what to write. Well I didn’t write anything. I was just putting what everyone else wrote on pages in inDesign and sending them off to be printed. Not what I went to school for, but I got a handle on it. And after a few months of self-guidedly teaching myself how to really do the job (the factor of working in an environment with little guidance eventually became something I appreciated by the way), I actually came to enjoy the work. There was a weird sort of happiness to it. I got so good and so fast at the work that I finished early every day, giving me time to work on my novel or just read or even watch Netflix. And honestly, my favorite part of the job were those moments of free time where I could do whatever I wanted until it got closer to deadline and we had to proofread pages.
It was around October 2016 when I started having to type crimebeat once or twice a week because the person who usually did it had quit. Which in the grand scheme of things, wasn’t that big of a deal. But it was enough to completely eradicate that free time I cherished so much. Not to mention, no one told me how to do it properly. And no one felt the need to tell me until literally two months ago that some of the things I was typing up could’ve gotten me into some serious legal trouble. But fortunately enough, nothing ever happened. So I wasn’t thrilled that the only thing keeping me there had been taken away, so I started the job search again. I quickly learned that 3-4 months of experience was most definitely not enough to mean anything. So I decided to try my best to stay a full year. No matter how much I wasn’t feeling it anymore.
This became a lot easier in time. The newspaper hired, or I guess re-hired, a couple of really great people with whom I became close friends and I started getting closer to a few other coworkers. I got even better at my job and managed to get my free time back by coming in a little early too. I started wanting to be around the people I worked with and eventually going to work wasn’t so bad. But in the last few months, all of the things I liked about the job started to drift away again. So I saved up some money and decided that the one year mark would finally be it for me, even without having something lined up. And here I am, unemployed. But on the plus side, I’m refocusing on writing again and I’m not nearly as depressed as I was a few months ago. Of course, I’m still looking for jobs, but I’m honestly not in a big hurry. There are some places I’m really interested in nearby too, so hopefully they’ll give me a shot.
I hate to sound so typical of the millennial attitude toward jobs, but it really is kinda difficult to find one even after earning a degree. Every good job requires experience, so I took the opportunity to get experienced. And I know it’s made a difference. I wouldn’t even say that I was under appreciated, because I wasn’t. Again, I never wanted the job in the first place. But I’m really glad that I took it. I met so many great people, including one of my now best friends. I learned so much, and not just about the work environment but about myself too. I really developed a strong sense of professionalism that I’m confident I can carry onto another job. And I’m not hesitant to take a job that I don’t really want anymore. I don’t have that silly sense of pride that I did when I graduated from university. I see things a lot differently now and I think it’s for the better. The past year has taught me a lot but I felt it was time to move on. To get back to what I love doing. And to finish this damn novel.