Beth's Story: Choosing a Life of Adventure

Hi, it’s Beth speaking!

Have you ever felt stuck in the grind and unable to figure out why you’re not feeling truly fulfilled, at work or otherwise?

I know I got to that point, and it caused me to come awake to myself and really evaluate what I wanted out of life. Ultimately, I chose to go rogue and live adventurously.

Anyone can break the mold and start living free from convention. To show you how, I’ll share a bit of my story with you while detailing out some of the common traps we fall into on our career paths:

 

TRAP #1: WE DON’T KNOW THAT WE CAN TURN OUR PASSIONS INTO CAREERS.

After my sophomore year of college, I spent the summer as a camp counselor at the camp I had grown up attending. I led camp songs, built a ton of camp fires, led hikes, and learned invaluable outdoor and group management skills. It was the best summer of my life.

That fall, I returned to school to continue to major in Public Relations, sad that my summer job was just for college kids. I didn’t look back for a long time, because I didn’t realize it was possible to create a career out of what I loved.

It took a faster-than-fast paced job to make it clear to me that I did NOT want to continue in the field of nonprofit communications, and that I HAD to find a way to work in the outdoors. And, as it turns out, that wasn’t as hard as I’d made it out to be!

There are jobs for EVERYTHING right now. We have so many resources and options at our fingertips, through the internet and the ability to search for anything and network with anyone at the click of a button.

Take practically anything you enjoy, and you CAN make a career out of it.

 

TRAP #2: WE TRY TO STAY ON THE SAFE AND PRACTICAL PATH.

As I mentioned above, I got a degree in journalism that I no longer use. To this day, I couldn’t tell you exactly why I majored in journalism, but it was likely because I was good at communicating and organizing and the career path seemed practical.

And, you know what, it really was! I could get a job doing just about anything, and it is a well-respected field that made me feel very comfortable, safe, and bored. I actually do recommend getting a communications degree if you don’t know what else to do (and if someone forces you to go to college) because the transferable skills I now have are endless!

Now, I coach and I work part-time in the field of outdoor recreation. I’m back to what I love. It’s not practical, but it makes perfect sense to me.

There’s nothing wrong with being practical. However, if you find yourself in a position like I was where you are miserable at work and are merely floating through your own life, that’s not living. Grab live by the proverbial horns and take control.

You’re not stuck just because you currently have insurance and a 401(k). There are resources for EVERYTHING now, which I will keep repeating. You don’t need employer matches to start a retirement plan, you can get insurance from a free-lancer or self-employed plan if you go that route. A lot of companies actually offer both insurance and retirement plans to part-time employees, like a popular coffee chain I worked at between jobs for those reasons (which I won’t name because I’m not sure about the legality of that).

Let me say it again - you’re not stuck because your employer provides your insurance and matches your 401(k). That’s an excuse you’re making.

TRAP #3: WE DON’T REALIZE THAT THE ONLY THING HOLDING US BACK ARE ASSUMPTIONS.

Speaking of excuses, did you know that most of what you’re afraid of when thinking about taking the leap into your new lifestyle…is just an assumption? You’re assuming you can’t get the education you need to be credible in the profession you’d like to pursue. You’re assuming people will judge you harshly for abandoning your current path (and that you can’t deal with that). You’re assuming what you show the world won’t be good enough. You’re assuming that all will matter once you’ve grasped what you truly love and value.

Do yourself a favor and really test those assumptions.

I assumed I couldn’t work part time because we needed both my and Anthony’s income to survive. Upon redrafting the family budget, we found that wasn’t true. Sure, things would need to be tighter, but it was worth it.

I assumed that people would look at me differently for working in jobs typically occupied by college students. They did. I didn’t care. I was loving life and they were stuck behind a desk.

I assumed my resume would make no sense to new employers, and I wouldn’t have the right training. I was wrong. I learned to frame my skills as transferable, and I was offered on-the-job training at my new outdoor recreation job that had me feeling like an expert in the field in the first five months.

 

You can escape these traps and live an adventurous life. You’re the only one who gets to define your happiness and your success. 

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