The career cross-road

Written by on April 21, 2012 in 30 Life Crisis, Americas, Blog, Nevada - 26 Comments

When it came time for my one-year anniversary with my company this past winter, I went in, ready to ask for a raise and full-time status.

Despite the fact that, only a few months earlier, when I was suffering from horrific jet lag, my bosses informed me I would no longer be able to take a vacation which took me away from my e-mail.

It wasn’t for the fact that I wanted to stay with the job. It was never my plan to stay in Las Vegas for too long. I wanted to satiate my travel addiction. I had absolutely no desire to do any such thing, like making this job my career. In fact, the more time went by, the more I began to loathe walking through the kitchen to my little back office. Even if it was part-time.

But, when this meeting finally arrived, I had a plan: to stick it out through Thanksgiving and then hightail it out of there and go travel again. My parents and I had discussed my travel plans: to head back to Europe, teach English, house-sit and continue my freelance writing (which I was doing to counter the part-time status of my day job). Simple. Easy.

However, as the months between the discussion and my meeting continued on, I hit a roadblock.

Myself.

Even with my plans being at least outlined, I felt trapped. As my job moved more and more towards babysitting and less and less towards what I was hired to do, I grew more and more miserable. I stopped going out. I stopped spending time with most of my friends. I would wake-up, go to work, come home, do my freelance writing, turn on the TV, then head to bed and toss and turn until sleep finally took over.

I was depressed.

The only good thing I did for myself in those months was seek help in the form of therapy. And, I’m not ashamed of it. Together, my therapist and I tackled a lot.

However, in January, instead of getting better, I got worse.

During my meeting with my bosses, they told me they were not prepared to give me a raise, or promote me to full-time. While the company was growing, they refused to let me grow with them. Despite the fact that I had no desire to grow with them, to see them through their successes beyond November, it was a slap in the face.

We like what you do. You do a great job. But, you aren’t valuable enough to reward you for your hard work.

I went from being able to smile to not being able to contain my tears.

Just like in Atlanta when I was in the prime of my 30-Life-Crisis, I had hit a place I hated.

The walls were closing in on me. I couldn’t breathe. I had no way out.

Until I did.

 

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is a former career breaker and long term solo traveler. Today, she helps promote responsible elephant tourism and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. When she isn’t writing, Diana handles the PR and social media for Save Elephant Foundation, which runs the popular Elephant Nature Park. Her writing as appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

26 Comments on " The career cross-road "

  1. Jade - OurOyster.com April 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm · Reply

    That is so annoying that they wouldn’t give you a raise, especially when the company is growing. But maybe that is a good sign to move on to something new

    • Diana April 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm · Reply

      I took it as a sign, that’s for sure!!

  2. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls April 26, 2012 at 12:29 am · Reply

    If it doesn’t fit, then it wasn’t meant to be, period. So many people force jobs into careers that they never like, let alone love. Good on you for moving on!

    • Diana April 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm · Reply

      Exactly. I am so excited to have moved on. And, I am pleased to say I have moved on to bigger and better things that not only will change my life, but will impact other people’s lives, too!

  3. Bobbi Lee Hitchon April 26, 2012 at 2:50 am · Reply

    Sounds like tough times. I hope there is a follow up to this post. I want to hear more!!!

    • Diana April 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm · Reply

      Oh goodness. So many follow-up posts. I have enough content to keep the site going on the past few months alone!

  4. Pete April 26, 2012 at 10:06 am · Reply

    Looks like you made the right choice to move on. So many people don’t and just keep on trudging through. Best of luck in your exciting adventures to come :)

    • Diana April 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Pete!! It is definitely going to be an adventure!!

  5. Federico April 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm · Reply

    Change is good, remember!

    • Diana April 27, 2012 at 11:11 am · Reply

      YES!! Always. :)

  6. Stephanie - The Travel Chica April 27, 2012 at 9:02 am · Reply

    I think I share the same personality trait where I find it hard to say no and hard to quit something. It is like I feel a sense of duty and don’t want to let people down. As you have described here, it is hard to see the situation for what it is when you are in the middle of it. It takes time to get to the realization of what you need to do. Glad you’ve gotten there ;-)

    • Diana April 27, 2012 at 11:09 am · Reply

      It is so hard when in the middle of it. Fortunately, it just takes a quick step out, a good convo with mom to make the eyes open. :)

  7. Abby April 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm · Reply

    You tell ‘em, lady! Great essay, probably my favorite of yours ever. And that first photo is classic!!!

    • Diana April 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Abby!! And, thanks for going through it with me. Lord knows I was NOT an easy person to be around.

  8. Christy @ Technosyncratic April 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm · Reply

    There’s definitely no shame in therapy. :) However, shame on your bosses for not valuing your contributions!

    • Diana April 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm · Reply

      Absolutely no shame! I am so glad I went and got some perspective. It’s so easy to get bogged down in your mind and lose the moments you need to have because they are clouded by your own thoughts.

  9. Camels & Chocolate April 29, 2012 at 10:47 am · Reply

    Cheers to you for taking the metaphorical bull by the horns!

    • Diana April 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm · Reply

      It wasn’t easy, but thrilled I did it!

  10. Britany Robinson May 1, 2012 at 11:34 am · Reply

    I’m currently sitting at my desk at a job that I struggle to smile at every day. Once you have a taste of travel, its so hard to go back to the mundane routine of 9-5. I can’t wait until I’ve saved up enough to make moves again and hit the road! All in good time…

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm · Reply

      Yes, all in good time. I have learned you have to go through the bad to get to the good … it’s all part of the process. And, it really makes you appreciate the life you lead. It is horrible to be in a job where you struggle to smile every day. Fortunately, at this last job, I had some great co-workers that helped me get through it. But, the last job I had before I took my “career break?” That was awful and I had very little support. In fact, no one (except one co-worker who was leaving along with me) knew how miserable I was. I was literally going through the motions as I led a double life. Save up that money!

  11. Erica May 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm · Reply

    Oh man I’ve been there. It is the main reason why I quit Blizzard so soon. They wouldn’t let me grow with them.

    On the positive side, it has lead you through an amazing transformation!

    • Diana May 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm · Reply

      It gave me the swift kick I needed to get on out and get back to my bottom line: living for the moment.

  12. Hotelopia July 9, 2012 at 9:21 am · Reply

    Is it legal to not let someone take a holiday that means they’ll be away from email? Surely everyone has that right! I mean, you get a certain number of days HOLIDAY per year by law, you’re not supposed to be working!

    • Diana July 9, 2012 at 10:17 am · Reply

      I was a part-time employee, so I think it was a bit different for me. It was good that they said that because that was the moment I checked out. You can’t tell a travel writer they can no longer travel.

      • Hotelopia July 10, 2012 at 9:46 am · Reply

        How rubbish of them :/ Ah well, at least it worked out in the end, now you have more time to travel and focus on writing this lovely blog for us all to read hehe! :)

        • Diana July 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm · Reply

          Yes. Exactly. And, it resulted in me being able to accomplish my goal: to move to Thailand and help save elephants.

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