Morgan | When It Looks Different Than You Planned

“She told me that I was horrible at my job, that no one in the newsroom liked me, and that she couldn’t understand for the life of her why I had chosen to be in this field.”

Meet Morgan. 

Knowing Morgan for over 4 years now, being a news anchor has always been something she has dreamed of doing. If you know Morgan, this won’t surprise you. She says 18,000 words a minute, is obsessed with being up to date on current events and has a powerful way of connecting with others and sharing their stories. Morgan is all 5’3” of fiery, passionate energy. 

But just because you burn bright won’t mean that people will try to extinguish your flame. I could see such pain in her eyes as she was having to relive what was as she called it, one of the most challenging points in her life. 

“It was awful. It truly takes a toll on your mental health and it so many times made me reconsider if this was what I needed to be doing. All I heard every day was everything that I was not – I never heard anything that would encourage me to keep pushing on.”

Is Passion Enough?

When she first enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Morgan thought that she wanted to go to law school. However, as she started taking journalism classes she was filled with such a deep passion for a career that would allow her to connect with people and share their stories with thousands. One of her journalism professors was her toughest critics, yet is someone she will forever deeply appreciate. 

“He always told me that it was never enough to just have a passion or be good at something, and if I stopped there I would never truly be great. He reminded me that what you are dedicated to, you have to work at every single day. You can never let yourself think that you are better than you actually are. He pushed me so hard not because he was trying to make my life difficult, but because he saw something in me.”

When she first started her broadcasting career, she was so proud and happy to be walking into the job that she had prayed so long and hard for. However, she quickly learned that just because she was qualified for the position and had rightfully earned her right to be there – not everyone in her newsroom thought the same.

“I was constantly overlooked for bigger opportunities, simply because I was told that I did not fit the “anchor” look. It was so infuriating because they would give the opportunity to women who had been there for half the time that I had, and when I would openly communicate my frustrations to my supervisor I would get shut down every time. I was constantly on the receiving end of toxic actions and having mental breakdowns every day dealing with what I did at that job.”

Valleys Teach Us More Than Mountaintops Ever Will. 

No matter how difficult her job was, she said that one of the most important lessons it taught her was that relying on validation from someone else would never give her the internal satisfaction that she was longing for. She would never be able to fill a void if she was waiting on people around her to give her the praise – she learned to rely on herself for that. 

And most importantly, it showed her the importance of grace. 

“I was so used to working in an environment where if the smallest thing was incorrect, I was ridiculed always in an unhealthy way. It made me feel like I had to be perfect in every single aspect. Now, I am in such a healthy work environment that I have to remind myself it is okay to not be perfect in every single aspect, and my bosses don’t expect me to either. 

Knowing Your Limits Is Not Only For Relationships.

I asked Morgan if she could give a piece of advice to a younger, aspiring, news anchor, what would it be?

As she says, it would be to know yourself and never stay somewhere longer than you can mentally handle. 

“You have to know yourself well enough to know if you can hold on a little longer, or do you need to jump ship. We are all so different and I would never tell anyone to sacrifice their mental health for a career because that benefits no one. Holding on allowed me to gain a newfound appreciation for a healthy work environment, as well as showed me a source of strength I never knew I had. But only you can decide that for yourself.”

3 Strategies You Can Implement Today To Set Realistic Limits For Yourself At Work:

  1. Write down your negotiables and non-negotiables for your job. Things you are willing to negotiate (time in the office, responsibilities, communication after work hours, etc.) and things you can’t negotiate on (a toxic work environment, belittling leadership, etc.) are the things that will help you communicate with your manager when you feel like something is not working for you. 
  2. Be honest with yourself. It does no one any good when you hold in your emotions about what you are going through in your professional life. It may be hard to speak out, but confiding in someone you trust will allow them to help direct you to the appropriate resources to get you through.
  3. Be comfortable being your biggest advocate. No one will ever know what you need more than you. No one is going to speak up for you if you don’t do it for yourself. Understand that being your biggest advocate may not always be a walk in the park, but know that it should scare you more knowing that if you don’t stand up for yourself you give people permission to treat you however they want. 

So grateful for your vulnerability, Morgan. And so happy to see you flourish in a healthy work environment. 

Water Your Garden today, 

 

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  1. My Grandbaby Morgan,

    It pains me deeply that you were treated so badly, but I am not surprised in the least. I wish I could say that it will never happen again, but it might.

    You see, jealousy is a terrible thing. The Bible talks about it. Proverbs 27:4 says, “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?” The answer is, “No one.”

    Morgan, God has created you to be a Black woman with beauty and brains. And because you are strong and secure in who you are in Jesus Christ, many will be intimidated by your poise, competence, and confidence. Others may define you as a threat.

    However, fear not, my Morgan. The Lord is with you. Always remember you have a mother, father, and grandmother who pray for you every day. “Therefore, no weapon formed against you can prosper.”

    Continue to trust in the Lord, and never lower your standards or capabilities to appease others.

    I am pleased that you and Corey now live in a different location. The sky is the limit for you both, and the best is yet to come.

    I love you, and I am so proud of you both.

    God bless you!

    Your Grandma,

    Jan Newell-Byrd

    Proverbs 3:5-6

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