Learn what my journey from menial work to a fulfilling job looked like.
Hi, I'm Michael
I started this blog to help people find their path in life—from finding your passion to just getting a better job. Read my story here.
The picture above is of me during my last week of college. I was graduating and had no idea what I was going to do afterwards. I was not prepared for the challenges, struggles, and overall confusion I was going to face.
My goal is to help others avoid what I went through. Whether you went to college, didn't go, or are just trying to find your path, I hope my story can help you.
I struggled with many of the same things others have when it comes to finding work. And it was more than just work—anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness were born out of not having something productive to do during the 9-5. It affected my outlook on life and my general happiness.
Growing up I was interested in everything—music, writing, technology, psychology, art, business, travel, the list goes on.
So when it came time to choose, I struggled. I didn't want to choose and this resulted in job hopping and never getting good enough at one thing.
In college I jumped majors and after graduating, I didn’t hold the same job for more than 12 months.
There were times where I gave up and submitted myself to the idea of finding a career that was secure and payed well. Then I’d wake up the next morning and realize that I couldn’t live like that.
Here is a timeline of nearly everything I've done. I hope this can serve as inspiration that you can try a lot of things and find work you enjoy later on.
- 2009: At 18, at my local community college, I started as a film major. I worked at the college as an office assistant—sorting papers, running errands, and cleaning windows. Anything that needed to be done. I also worked in the theater building theater sets, working the lights, curtains, and sounds during shows.
- August 2012: I transferred to a 4 year university as a Communication Design Major (kinda like graphic design). Worked at the university in the Event Center where they would have speeches/and gathering of the university club.
- October 2012: Within 2 months I panicked and changed my major to Kinesiology. In my last semester I knew I wouldn’t do anything with that degree and considered dropping out. Finally I decided to finish the degree.
- May 2014: Graduated and moved back home.
- September 2014: Started substitute teaching since all you needed was a bachelor’s degree to qualify. I then picked up a second job at the local university as an Event Monitor. I worked their events (weddings, meetings, ect). I set up chairs, monitored the events, put out fires.
- October 2015: Moved to Spain to teach English for a year. During this time I was anxiety ridden about what I’d do afterwards so I taught myself code while there.
- August 2016: Moved back home and didn’t go to a coding bootcamp like I told myself I would. Commence self-hatred. Started substitute teaching again.
- May 2017: I felt like I had to leave my hometown, so I started applying to jobs and moved to Portland, OR for a position at a company working in customer support.
- September 2017: After four months of being yelled at by irate customers, I quit the customer support job with the conclusion that business in general wasn’t the place for me. So I did a complete 180 and turned to the medical field. I got a job as a medical scribe and took a chemistry class at the local college to begin my short-lived journey of becoming a Physician Assistant.
- February 2018: A few months into it, I realized the medical field wasn’t for me. I quit and started substitute teaching again, this time in Portland. I considered going to school to be a high school teacher. I also tried freelance writing but after a couple of gigs realized I wouldn’t make any significant money. Began applying to jobs at companies again.
- July 2018: Got a job in customer support at a different company and loved it. I realized the environment was more important than the job/field itself. What I liked about this company was that it was small, growing fast (more opportunity), and the people were great. I did my best and got promoted within a year.
- February 2019: I was promoted into another position with the goal of ensuring the quality of our customer experience. I like learning a lot of new things and making an impact, but I knew it still wasn’t what I truly wanted. Still I enjoyed my work and the autonomy I was given.
- June 2020: I moved into another position in the company, this time in the HR department. Again, the people were amazing and I was doing important work.
- September 2020: I took a more technical position at a Bay Area company since my previous boss was now at this company. This has been the best thing I’ve done. Aside from getting to be a part of a great company that is making an impact on the world, I learned that after a certain point, more money won't make an impact on happiness.
- March 2020: I decided to start this blog and help others break out of menial work and into something they enjoy.
Why I Started This Blog
July 14th, 2019 my sister texted me. She was considering going to graduate school. She had recently got her bachelor’s in Psychology and had no idea what to do next. I asked her why she wanted to go to graduate school and she said she actually didn’t know. She had no idea what to do with her life. The motive behind going to graduate school was the hope that it would clear the fog of uncertainty. Desperate for that sense of direction school can provide. This wasn’t the first person I’d talked to with this problem.
I realized so many people are struggling with this. Having gone through this and escaped with a long resume and work that I enjoy, I want to help others who were in my situation. While that feeling of being stuck and hopeless is still fresh in my mind, I want to get it all out. I wanted to provide a resource that actually helped people, rather than just telling everyone to start their own business or learn to code.
What's Going On Now
I’m still on my journey, but I am more at peace with the process than ever before.
This doesn’t mean I don’t have my struggles with confusion, regret, fear, and all that. These feelings come up, but these don't last more than a few moments while in the past, it would be weeks.
What has changed is how I deal with them and how I view them. The most successful people you see are dealing with the same emotions you have (believe it or not). The big difference is in how they respond. They know that these problems are just the mind talking, and they've grown to trust the process instead of their fears and anxieties.
Knowing how to transform failure into success is more important than knowing how to succeed. – Sir Ernest Hall
There are many jobs out there that don't require a college degree but do require some type of certification. Check out these four jobs that are worth it!
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