Happy Anniversary, you no longer have a job.

Happy Anniversary, you no longer have a job.

posted in: Writer: Autumn | 11

 

It has been almost a year to the day since I accepted a job at Lonely Planet/NC2 Media and picked my life up to move across the country to Nashville. It’s fair to say I took the job while chasing other dreams, but I’ll never forget the palpable excitement and joy I felt when accomplishing what I thought was the first step on the journey to my real dreams. In that year I’ve fallen more deeply in love with Nashville, been offered some incredible opportunities as a journalist, and experience the worst year of my career.

Yesterday, a large team at NC2 Media that I had a hand in building, and the joy of being apart of, got sent packing. Rounded up in a circle and told “thanks but no thanks.” Despite the promises that there would be no layoffs, after two guys from San Francisco came in to evaluate us, and the constant assurance that we were financially secure – the cultural sickness, inapt management, and unfair treatment of employees came to a head. The toxic environment I experienced during my four months over in the main office at Lonely Planet somehow seeped into the beautiful culture of NC2 Media. And, as toxicity does, destroyed a really great team.

In every job, there are flaws. I’ve learned that over the years. I left a job in California where I was nurtured, encouraged to expand my knowledge, and given endless opportunities to have my hands in different aspects of the company. All while being mentored by an incredibly supportive and empowering female supervisor. I left that job in search of Nashville, and what I found in return, was that you can be the most talented, smartest person in the world, but under the wrong executive team you can flounder, lose confidence, and be utterly destroyed.

I watched as the executive team fired people for no reason other than they weren’t liked, under-communicated with the staff to the determent of their own products and built walls around the creative environment. In the end they told the team that despite their hard work over a year – all of them had to go home and start over. I stayed with the company even after I was shuffled from Lonely Planet to NC2 when they fired my supervisor, because they’d rather have a man in charge than a woman. I stayed when they fired her again from NC2 because an executive just didn’t really like her. And I stayed when I was asked to do two jobs I wasn’t qualified to do, and even when I was asked not to do my job at all, in part because I had to and in part because of my loyalty to my co-workers.

It was, for all intents and purposes, the absolute worst year of my career. I went inward, I prayed, and I hoped for an answer that would point me in the right direction. I focused on this blog and the endless opportunities that have presented themselves over the year. I remembered I was in it for a bigger purpose.

Yesterday, we were all let go. Honestly, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders almost immediately knowing that the toxicity, negativity, and constant fear of losing my job were finally over. As hard as it is to know an entire team has lost a paycheck, that the hard work they’ve put in is gone, I see their positivity shine through even now. I learned that out of the uncertain darkness can come relationships that will last a lifetime. And that not every dream turns out the way we envision it. But that’s okay.

My hope is that one person in leadership will someday see this and realize that respecting and nurturing your employees will you get you farther than trying to pull them down. That communication will allow your projects to flourish instead of flounder. And to take a good look around, because if you have a great team, they can continue being great without you. The team over at NC2 were virtually ignored for a year, but the management within the team worked effortlessly to provide answers, guidance, and hope – even when there wasn’t any to be had.

Now I say goodbye to one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had on the eve of my anniversary in Nashville. And I do so with an open heart, an open mind, and so much more hope for the future.

11 Responses

  1. Michelle Hebert

    Autumn,

    I resonate with this deeply after having worked in the same strife for a year. We have both seen each other flourish and flounder inside the walls of what we both thought was going to be a wonderful career opportunity. Its really sad to see how many people were promised promotions, security, mentorship and ultimately a comfortable work lifestyle.

    I am so sorry to hear about your lay off on your anniversary – seems to be a common theme there, as they let me go on mine as well. I am so proud of you for all you have accomplished on the side with your wonderful blog. You are an amazing, talented, sweet and vibrant soul.

    You came to this city because you followed your calling, and I’m so happy to see that you are taking good from bad. I am also so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you and Kristen and get to know you as one of my closest friends in Nashville. I know that as sad as this may seem, that it can also be a blessing in disguise, like you said. You are staying positive and acknowledging your worth.

    I cannot wait to see what’s ahead in your bright future in Music City.

    All the love,
    M

    • JukeboxMixtape

      I definitely thought of you while I was writing this. I saw so many creative and talented people like yourself just be misused and ignored over my year there. It was all so absolutely insane to me. But, we’re both on to bigger and better things that will show themselves in time. Having faith to step blindly into the future is just part of the battle. I’ll never regret for a moment the chance to work there, if only because I got to meet amazing people like yourself. That makes everything worth it. Thank you!

  2. Wow. Sorry to hear that. I dodged a bullet by not getting the job I interviewed for in July. During which I was told the company was “well funded”, worked no OT and was huge on professional development. I was stoked about the “game” and other hush hush stuff under development, the location was sweet, so I was super bummed that i was passed on. Everything really does happen for a reason. Come work at HCA where work/life balance isn’t just a carrot at the end of a stick your getting beat with.

    • JukeboxMixtape

      I think part of the tragedy of this is that the team was also so excited about what they were working on, and passionate about doing the best work they could, under nonexistent guidance. I know everyone on the team will find where they were meant to be, but I wish the powers that be had understood what a great thing they had. Thank you so much for reaching out, and given my experience, I will say you found what was right for you and meant for you. By doing so, missed out on a big mess! Thank you again!

  3. Hi Autumn,

    I’m a friend of Kristen’s and found your blog through her Facebook post today.

    First, I’m so sorry about your job loss. I also lost my first job in Nashville. And I know how much it sucks. But, honestly, it was one of the best things that could have happened to my career! And it will be for you, too. Promise.

    Cheers,

    Kate Dore

    • JukeboxMixtape

      Hi Kate! Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve had so many people reach out to me and tell me their stories since posting this, and it’s been so uplifting to hear. I’m ready for better things and the opportunity to go after the dream I came to Nashville for. I definitely see this as a good thing, despite all the drama surrounding it.

      Thanks again! Keep in touch.

  4. I interviewed there about a year ago for a Director position and I got really weird vibes from the place. Glad I ended up not taking the gig. My studio in San Antonio is looking for several positions, including art and technical writing. Check the Booz Allen Hamilton site and search the San Antonio office. Alternately look me up on LinkedIn and message me. -Mike Wikan

    • JukeboxMixtape

      That’s a clear sign that everything happens for a reason! Thank you so much for checking out the blog, I believe we may be connected on LinkedIn already, but I’ll double check.

  5. I am so sorry this happened to you, but I hope you stick around Nashville. The great news is that there are ample job opportunities in this city right now!

    • JukeboxMixtape

      Thank you! I’m definitely planning to stick around Nashville, I just look at this as the opportunity to do something I’m really excited about.

  6. I can sort of understand where you’re coming from. My circumstances were a little bit different but had a very similar effect. I worked for a religious nonprofit where I was on a creative team that help build that organization to what it is today. A two and a half years ago now they got new leadership and they decided to shake things up a little bit. They had a consultant come in from the West Coast to evaluate that creative department. They then proceeded to break the department up into different departments with supervisors that were not experienced enough. They literally redefined my job, took away the part that I love to do and give to someone who had no experience or knowledge in that position. Looking back at it, I know it was strategically done in order to get the legacy staff to leave.

    The upside to all this is now I live in Nashville a year and a half later and I’m loving it. There are always upside to everything.

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