“On top of the problems related to office culture, there was a lot of union-related stress. The union would negotiate on our behalf, and we didn’t really have a say in the specifics of our salary. We got some pay raises but I felt removed from the process and wanted more agency in what I was making and doing at work.
“I was eventually able to find a part-time consultant posting in the same company. Even though it was a huge pay cut (about 25% less) it felt like a great opportunity, especially since I would only be working 24 hours a week. Still, I was hesitant. I spoke to the recruiter and tried to do some negotiating. I tried to use her as a go-between and asked her if I could get the salary any closer to where I was, but she said she wasn’t authorized to do anything more so I told her it wouldn’t work out.
“They ended up calling me a month later and told me that if I was still interested in the position it was still open. At that point, I said I would try out an interview and see what it was about. I really wanted more autonomy and freedom and I really got along with the people I would be working with, so I went for it.
“It was financially scary for about six months or so, especially since my husband has a less consistent income because of his film work. Still, this new job had more of what I was looking for in terms of content and work-life balance, so I was happy. I realized after leaving my job that I had really been feeling overburdened with work level and stress. This felt like a much better fit. My husband was supportive, and we figured out how to make up the difference in income.”