Life ad­vice

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

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents -

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; fo­mofes­ti­

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