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Ever feel like you in a job for just surviving? You wake up feeling energized, eager to go to work and now, no longer have that leap to even get out of bed because as soon as your salary goes in, the sooner it goes out? That’s how I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks and I decided three weeks ago to tell my wonderful boss I’m now looking for a new job.

You might be wondering, “How could you tell your boss that?” Let me backtrack first before going into detail as to why I told him.

In February of this year, I was retrenched from a job I truly loved as the company decided to close down despite me being underpaid. Now for those of you who have been in this predicament before would know that feeling of, “Where will I find another job? How will I pay my bills?”

Luckily within less than a week of receiving that bad news, I got a new job with a bigger responsibility; being my own boss with no one to report too at the age of 22.

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I took on the challenge thinking that this was my big break; allowing myself to take on a much bigger responsibility will look great on my CV. I virtually had to start from scratch with all their social media platforms, building relationships with the media, newsletter and website implementations and updates and, a whole lot of other duties in-between like being a stylist and photographer.

I thought, “This is my job. I’m in my element”. Then one day, five months into it, I no longer felt the urge to get dressed and go to work. I started lacking in concentration, had no sprung to even get my work done and was only coming in to survive the month ahead. I had no benefits like medical aid or a pension fund and, the salary I was earning wasn’t matching up to the amount of work I was putting in.

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I began phoning recruitment agencies but at the same time, I had a tab open on my pc looking for job openings fitting my skills and experience. And then I landed an interview. Great, right? Everything went well until that dreaded question got asked, “Why are you leaving after only five months?” I knew that there was no chance I was getting that position. How do you explain to a potential employer you not earning enough? And by the way, I was unsuccessful for that job.

After speaking to my mom (you know, mothers know best), I decided to stay up until the end of the year but a month went by and I realized I couldn’t do this to myself nor the company.

Because A) As much as I loved my colleagues and my boss, I wasn’t doing the brand any justice with the mindset I was in and B) I couldn’t keep making up excuses as to why I need the mornings off to attend interviews.

That’s when I took my boss aside and said, “I’m really sorry but, I’m currently looking for a new job”.

His response, “I had a feeling you are. To be honest, you brilliant and you too ambitious to be working in a small retail store like this. You should be working for Old Mutual or Discovery”

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Now imagine my shock when he said that because that’s not how I planned that response out in my head. I felt a huge relief lifted off my shoulders! I no longer had to go behind his back making up reasons as to why I had to take leave for the morning. After expressing my feelings, he has been abundantly supportive throughout; allowing me to go to interviews and funny enough, I’ve been extremely productive that I even did a six-month spreadsheet for the months ahead.

Then just last week, I landed a job that is challenging, new and exciting. Something totally out of my comfort zone but with only three months left of the year; I was leaving my current boss in quite a debacle.

Neither he nor I was/is in the right mindset to train someone else especially since their website is one of the most complicated websites I’ve come across. It took me nearly four months to learn how to operate the back end of it and it’s exhausting – That’s when he asked if I don’t mind working for him part-time.

The first time they bring in someone in-house to do all their Marketing and PR, I decided to leave after only seven months. Secondly, what? Me? After what I just did? Do you still want to keep me on?

I went home and thought about it thoroughly. Will I be able to juggle a full-time job, part-time studies and a blog with being a PR and Marketing Coordinator in-between? With my studies nearing completion the first week of November, I decided to do it.

Yes, it’s an extra income I’ll be receiving but, I also know that I won’t get this kind of opportunity again. It’s a huge compliment that he still wanted me to work for his company. It means I was doing something right and I’m proud that I’ve worked so hard to leave such a great impression on him irrespective of me wanting to leave for a better income.

No matter how hard it is, try to be as truthful and honest with your boss or manager. You never know, something good can really come from it. I’m still in touch with two of my previous bosses because you never know when you might need them along the way even if it’s just for some advice.

Moral of my story: Never leave your job on a bad note and, make sure you always leave YOUR mark. I no longer wanted to work for just surviving the month. I wanted more for myself because I know how much effort and time I’ve poured into my career and I wanted to reap the benefits of it.

Until next time.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog