I didn’t want my manager’s job

Jenni Gritters
4 min readFeb 16, 2024

I remember the specific moment that my career crisis began. I was a few years out of journalism graduate school, working my second full-time media job as an editor. I was working long days and feeling burned out. But when I looked at the people who were “ahead” of me in the hierarchy — the editors in chief, the managing editors — I felt nauseated.

I didn’t want their jobs.

I didn’t want the bureaucracy, the drama, the pinched budgets, the long hours, the constant layoffs, or the pressure of making big decisions.

It seemed like things got worse as you moved up, not better. I didn’t want to be them.

So what was I doing? If the goal was to slowly climb the career ladder… I didn’t want that. If the goal was telling incredible stories that impacted people, with time to do deep research and change lives… my current situation also didn’t allow for that, and moving up in the ranks wouldn’t solve that problem, either.

I hate games. I hate systems built to make you move slowly, where you have to wait your turn to do your best work. I hate hierarchies and politics and bureaucracy.

And somehow, I’d gotten into a long-term career relationship with exactly these things.

When I got laid off in 2018, it was a welcome opportunity to examine all of these…



Jenni Gritters

I’m a writer and business coach for freelance creatives based in Central Oregon. I write about the psychology of small business ownership.