Women In Radio
An empowerment organization for women in the radio business.

Women In Radio Blog

The Women In Radio blog was started to help us cover topics that were too big to discuss on social media. Our mission of Women In Radio is to help and that's what the blog does. We write about the radio business culture, radio politics, radio listeners, and how we handle being a woman in radio.

Feel The Fear, Do It Anyway

I recently made the decision to leave my full time radio job, and I’m about to tell you why.  I was working for 2 stations in a small market, doing middays and afternoons.  It was fun, the people were nice, and it was low stress; for a while it was perfect.  I came into this job from a very high stress gig, so it was exactly what I needed at the time.  At almost the exact same time of landing this gig, I also landed a part time gig in a nearby major market at a station that I’ve always dreamed of working for.  It kind of seemed like I had it all for a while, a sweet full time gig and a dream-come-true part time one!  However, the full time gig was a haul to get to, over an hour each way on a good day without traffic or inclement weather.   There were some days where it would take more than 2 hours to arrive at work or arrive home, because of traffic or weather.   The hours were pretty good though, considering I’m not much of a morning person; I worked Monday through Friday from 11am-7pm for the most part, not including station events and appearances.  However, after about a year, the commute and the hours started to wear me down.  I was also starting to get bored at work because I didn’t feel challenged, but I pushed the thoughts right out of my head.  What was I thinking?  This is a good gig, the pay is decent and it’s low stress!  Yet those thoughts continued to loom...

One day last December, my husband and I went for a hike with our dog and I decided to talk to him about how I was feeling.  What he suggested changed everything, “Why don’t you quit and try to pick up more hours at {major market station referenced above}?”  I hadn’t thought of that.  Well, ok, yes I had, but I was too scared to even entertain that idea and didn’t know if we could pull it off financially.  After discussing it at great length, we decided we were in a place to do that and picking up more hours at the other station would offset the loss of the full time salary.  Plus, I’d have a lot more time to work on other projects that I’d been wanting to do but never had time to pursue (i.e. writing, teaching, going back to school, etc.). 

I decided to sleep on the decision and see if I felt the same the next day; I did.  I thought ok, this is a big change, so I’m going to take at least a week to really think it through, and I did.  My plans never faltered though and now I had made up my mind for sure.  I told my boss shortly after Christmas and we agreed that I’d stay on until early February.  I wasn’t in a huge rush to give up a good salary, but I was getting a bit antsy to have some freedom and give up my long commute!  I also informed my other boss at the station I worked for part time, of the changes I’d be making and thankfully I’ve been able to pick up more hours there just like I’d hoped.

Can we talk for a second about how supportive others were with my decision?  The answer: not very.  Besides my husband and a couple of close friends, I got a TON of pushback!  Everyone I talked to thought I was crazy.  They all asked me “but how are you going to afford THAT?” and “So what kinds of projects are you going to be doing instead?” in a lovely, condescending ‘you’re making a terrible decision’ tone of voice.  It scared me at first, I thought ‘oh my goodness, they must know better than I, and I’m probably making a huge mistake!’  But no, they didn’t know better than me about my own life, my wants and my needs, only I know what’s best for me. I realized that most of the people I talked to were projecting their own fears onto me.Maybe they were afraid to take that leap of faith and do what they really wanted to do with their lives?  Maybe they couldn’t afford to take the risk of leaving their full time job in exchange for a part time one and some ‘me’ time.  When I came to that realization, I stopped listening to what others thought of my choices.  I was confident in my decision that I was doing what was best for me, even though truthfully I was scared, but I decided to “feel the fear and do it anyway” (great book, btw).

It’s been 3 months since I’ve left my full time job and sure, I miss having a steady paycheck coming in.  We’ve felt the loss in our bank account, but we’ve made changes and cut back on things to accommodate the loss of income.  So yes, I took a loss, but what I gained was so much more!  First of all, I gained time, something you and I can never get back; time to spend with my husband, with our animals, with friends, with myself.  I gained confidence, perspective, peace of mind, and self worth.  I certainly have my days where I get down and depressed and think to myself ‘ok, what am I doing with my life?’  In those moments (or sometimes hours, even days) I just try to breath and tell myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.  It’s not the route that many take; a lot of people live their lives in fear, fear of change, fear of the unknown…you cannot grow if you constantly live in a state of fear.  So take the chance, make the changes you want in your life, even if you have to take a pay cut.  You know what?  You’re going to be ok!  You’ll find ways to get through everything, I promise!  You only get one life, live it the way YOU want to, not for anyone else

Meaghan Taylor