Why I quit my (first) (real) job

By this time I’m sure many of you have seen and thought about Kai Nagata’s “Why I quit my job” blog post. In addition, I am sure many of you know who he is, so I’m not going to discuss who he is. If you don’t know who he is, look it up yourself.

What I am going to talk about is my own quasi-response to what he had to say.

In reading what Nagata had to say, I honestly couldn’t help thinking he sounded a bit like me when I quit my first real job in Meadow Lake, Sask. Like he had this entitlement complex and since things weren’t going his way he wanted out. Because as I think back on the end of my time in Meadow Lake, that is somewhat how I felt.

Of course, I have since been humbled, and now appreciate what I went through in Meadow Lake and how important it was for me to have gone through it.

But, since this is my attempt at a retort, here is why I quit my first (real) job.

After three and a half years of university, I was panicking trying to find a job when I graduated. After many applications, I finally got an interview for the Northern Pride in Meadow Lake, which turned into a job offer the next day. Having received no other offers, let alone interviews, I took the job.

Things started off well enough. I was given stories (being new to the area, I knew nothing) and I thought I performed well.

Then it happened.

I had taken and started the job before I had even physically graduated, so I flew back to Ottawa for the ceremony and a mini-reunion of sorts. Yes, it was good to see my fellow J-Schoolers, but it was also a very emotional time as I realized I likely would not see many of them again.

With those thoughts on my mind, I returned to Meadow Lake. And things gradually went downhill from there.

I never felt comfortable in that town, and I never felt welcomed into the newsroom. My co-reporter was a nice guy, but he kept to himself for the most part.

The powers that be? I should be careful with my words here, but nurturing new talent definitely is not among their strong suits. The expectation was that I was to arrive, have a brief adjustment period and then be able to function completely autonomously. There seemed to be no sympathy for the fact I had *just* graduated mere days and weeks before. I was still feeling my way in the world.

Naturally, with how I felt about the town, and the work environment, my production suffered and I was doing the least I needed to get by. But at the same time, I was trying to slog through it in hopes things would improve. They didn’t.

After a meeting that boiled down to “shape up or ship out,” I decided I wasn’t doing myself any favours by staying, so I quit.

The first few months after I quit I kept thinking that my time in Meadow Lake was a waste, but I have since learned it was more valuable than I thought. And I am thankful I went through that ordeal, even though I didn’t recognize it at the time.

So, to compare myself to Nagata, which was the point of this whole endeavour. Do I think he came off sounding entitled? Yes. Did I come off sounding entitled? Yes. Who was more right in quitting his job? I would have to say me. I was having a rough and by-no-means unenjoyable time in Meadow Lake. Nagata, on the other hand, sounds to have been having an excellent go of it.

I just think he should not have written his post. I have no doubt he has burned many, many bridges, and his petulance in writing it will come back to haunt him more than my decision to quit and write this will me.