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When you know it's time to go...

Hi friends,

Picture this: you've secured that "cool" job, the one your parents proudly brag about, your friend's envy, and one that fills your personal Instagram with the look of an amazing life. Yet, that is far from the reality— you're underpaid, drained, swamped with work, and your mental well-being? Well, that term is a foreign concept. Balance is an illusion and any off days you scrape together are squandered in bed, attempting to recoup lost sleep. Welcome to my initial years post-college. To be clear, I don't intend to appear unappreciative. I genuinely cherished my time in baseball, marked by countless high points and lifelong friendships. Nevertheless, once I realized I had reached my ceiling at work, I was only sticking around to maintain the image of having the "cool" job.

So let's get into it. You're a woman striving to break into the sports industry. Fresh out of college, you secure a full-time position in Minor League Baseball. Then, a few months later, you're "promoted" to the big leagues and have the opportunity to work for a major-league club. To add to the excitement, that very team goes on to win the World Series during your tenure—fulfilling the ultimate dream for someone who's always aspired to work in sports. That was my reality. So naturally, when I confided in others that I was unhappy and contemplating leaving the organization, I was met with questions and judgmental looks. Why, after all, would I want to leave what seems like a "dream" job? What's more, when I voiced my concerns, I was constantly reminded of how fortunate I was to be in that position, with warnings that if I chose to leave, returning to sports would be nearly impossible. *Cue the eyeroll.*

The following months were filled with self doubt and a sense of being responsible for my problems. I tried to keep it together, convincing myself that I was lucky to be there. I reiterated to myself the "coolness" of the job outweighed the negatives and urged myself to embrace gratitude rather than discontent. Several breakdowns later, it finally hit me that I was staying in my role solely to meet others' expectations and perceptions of me. The charade had gone on long enough, and I reached my breaking point. I came to terms with the reality that I had reached the pinnacle of my position with no prospects for advancement in sight. Moreover, I was dealing with a host of other issues at work, but those details are for another blog post. Ultimately, I decided to make a choice for myself, independent of others' opinions.

Feeling trapped, isolated, and depressed, I took the leap and started applying for other positions. At times, self-doubt occasionally crept back in (ok it happened a lot), but the satisfaction of prioritizing myself over others' perceptions makes it all worth it. While I'm sure that there are still those who view me as crazy for leaving what they consider a "dream" job, what's the value if I'm unhappy, not being challenged, and not learning? And despite those warnings, I have continued to work in the sports industry in roles that I love and that have allowed me to prioritize my own well-being.

To any woman working in or aspiring to work in sports, remember to stay true to your values. Pursue what brings you joy. Strive for balance in your life and never stay in a bad situation for fear of what others will think or to maintain an external facade (cool Instagram pics aren't worth your mental health!). Above all, ignore those who say you can't leave or won't be able to return to the sports industry. They couldn't be more wrong, because you’re awesome and you belong here.

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1 commento

Sorcha O'Donnell
Sorcha O'Donnell
28 set 2023

This has spoken to me so deeply, how do you decide what is the 'right' choice? In a time when there's absolutely no sense of direction, how do you even know what you want?

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