I left a nonprofit, org A, after about a year there, after feeling very burned out. I am in grants management and before COVID and going remote my work was kept close to 40-45 hours a week. After COVID, and going remote, the organization and my boss kept increasing my workload, justifying it by saying that due to COVID there was uncertainty and lost events revenue so that additional grants needed to be sought and applied for in addition to regular submissions. I was working until 8, 9, and 10pm regularly. I also felt frustrated by what I had seen from a few months into the organization as favoritism, mismanagement, and other types of toxicity. I finally felt that I couldn't do it anymore, but didn't want to leave the organization in a lurch, so I gave notice but offered to continue working part-time as a contractor until they found someone new. They found someone new who had numerous challenges using their computer and getting set up with technology during the first few months so I essentially still wrote all grants for about 4 more months, but managed to clock out at 25 hours a week due to not being involved in any meetings/additional work. After that I left the org entirely, on good terms.
After taking off for about a month to recover, I found a job in another organization, org B, that was even more dysfunctional. About a year after I left my original employer, org A, they contacted me again. My replacement had quit and they wanted to bring me back with a raise and promotion. I had misgivings but told my old boss that I wanted to be able to have selectivity about what grants I applied to and have more allowance to be able to unplug to not work late evenings and weekends, as well as be able to use my vacation days. I also had it put in my contract that I would be 100% remote. She agreed, and said that she thought she was doing a lot better about promoting work-life balance. So, I returned to my old job.
Initially, people seemed much more welcoming than when I was there before (during my first stint there I felt like a simultaneous hero and villain, where leadership knew I did a lot but never really congratulated me publicly and only noted at my going away party that I brought in more funding in the year I was there then they had ever gotten before). During my current stint with org A, I have had a few conversations with my boss in which I have pushed back on overwork and long evenings and even declined to be put on an additional project (something I had never done before). While my attempt at boundaries seemed to work at first, over time, things have started to get worse again. The work has been piling up, and don't get any recognition for the funds I secure, and I receive passive aggressive comments, or have emails regularly ignored. The organization is also going back to in-person/hybrid, and I now get the sense that there's general resentment towards my being remote after some comments from leadership and a person specifically calling me out on my "special treatment".
I am feeling stressed beyond belief after only four months back and already feeling like I want to give notice ASAP. I did an assessment of my work so far and in four months, I have submitted over 45 grants and reports. I have additionally had about twenty meetings with funders. I present to four different board committees monthly. I am also regularly compiling data, analyzing reports, and putting together presentations for my boss. This is on top of additional standing meeting to discussion strategy and expansion funds. It never feels like enough for them. A board member recently discussed a number of other areas that I could/should be exploring, and my boss encouraged it. After multiple overwork/toxic fundraising jobs in the nonprofit world, I'm honestly ready to leave the field entirely. Any advice on gracefully exiting my job the second time around? This time, I feel I really need to assess if I want to even stay in the industry. Sorry for the essay but I don't have any people in my line of work that I ever talk to about work matters, and it felt good to get it out!
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