Jesy Nelson, of British girl band Little Mix, made headlines last December when she announced her decision to walk away from her career after almost 10 years of success and fame. Rather than citing irreconcilable creative differences or personal feuds, Nelson made the bold decision to leave for her own personal well-being.
"The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard.”
Comments flooded her announcement with words of support and love applauding her bravery.
In the same vein, former E! News host Catt Sadler worked her entire career to earn a spot on the network and dedicated years of her life to the position. However, when Sadler learned she was being paid half of what her male counterpart was making, she quit in 2017. Sadler knew the value of her talent and saw that despite the role being her dream job, it was time to walk away.
So many societal expectations of women are based on the idea that we must be grateful for what we have even when it’s merely adequate instead of fulfilling, especially in a professional setting. If your job pays the bills, then what could you have to complain about? We’re told that while the men in the meeting might interrupt you, you should be thankful that you even have a spot at the table. The hours might be especially hard, but others have it worse. You’ve gone years without a promotion, but who really gets those anyways?
This thought process is designed to keep us complacent rather than push ourselves to demand what we deserve. At what cost do we give ourselves excuses to stick around over choosing to leave and prioritize ourselves, our professional aspirations and, most of all, our mental well-being? No job is worth your happiness, and any reason you have for walking away is enough if you know it’s the best decision for you and you only. Whether you feel you’re being treated unfairly, you no longer find joy in your work, you struggle with an aspect of the job or you just need an honest change, your reasons are valid, and you deserve an environment you can thrive in versus just barely surviving.
Finally making the call to start anew with a job can be daunting. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your friends for help, and make a day of running around to pick up applications and meet potential employers. Do research based on your skills and find an environment you’re most likely to succeed in. Of course, every job has its downsides and struggles, especially when working in college. However, if your job is draining you of your inspiration, energy and happiness, then it’s time for a fresh start.
You deserve it.