After working in radio for 11 years, the DJ decided to abandon job security and strike out on her own. Two years later, she reflects upon the challenge of taking a leap of faith to chase her dream
DJ Nina Las Vegas on her career leap of faith.
Working at Triple J was my dream job. It really was. I was lucky to be able to work there for almost 11 years [hosting a weekly Australian electronic music show], and the decision to leave the radio station was not made lightly.
I believe that many people who leave jobs are happy to do so in order to chase other dreams – that was certainly my reason. I had honestly reached the point where I couldn’t go much further within the organisation; there wasn’t a clear path for me to follow. There really isn’t a clear path for any young radio or media personality to follow, actually. You have to design that road yourself. And I was designing something that hadn’t really been done before – I wasn’t a comedian who was going to go on TV after radio; I wasn’t a radio personality hoping to move into other radio roles. I was a DJ, and I wanted to make music.
I was touring and producing, plus I was working on the idea of starting an independent record label. There came a point when I couldn’t do it all anymore. I couldn’t fit it all in. I consulted many people before making that final decision to leave; everyone was supportive because they knew I needed a new challenge. Ultimately, I trusted my gut and made the leap.
It has only been two years since I left, but it feels like a lifetime. There have been so many days where I didn’t know what was going to happen – days when I really missed the stability of a regular job. Going from a day job to forging a new career and business is not easy in any way – it taxes you mentally, physically and financially. On bad days, you should take stock of what you’ve achieved, and allow yourself to have some downtime. Sometimes we can be our own harshest critics.
Leaving my job has been worth it, but there is still a long way to go. It’s important to have a plan – it gives you a sense of security and purpose. It is also good to remember that if everything doesn’t go according to plan, you can still devote your time to finding another role. It’s not the end of the world if you leave your day job to chase your dream, even if you wind up failing. That’s what people need to remember. Nina Las Vegas performs at FOMO festival in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide in January; fomofestival.com.au.
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