This site doesn’t get nearly the traffic my other site does. Well, that one doesn’t nearly get the traffic that it used to either. So, it may be news to the 3 new people that read this post that I’ve been trying to change career paths for the past 3 years from electrical engineering to…something else. Recently, probably over the past year, I have really dedicated my efforts to try steer my career towards the outdoor industry. As difficult as even that has proven, I’ve even tried to be more specific in trying to get a job that is in the same realm as copywriting, content management, or anything writing/marketing based. And even more specific, for a brand that I know, trust, and believe in. The fact that I’m writing this (and you’re reading it) proves that nothing has changed, and my attempts have been in vain.
In the Beginning…
… my hopes and dreams were to own and operate my own personal training studio or gym. I started my first blog, AthleteCreator.com, about 3 years ago. I started networking with other trainers and associated myself with a small, brilliant group of coaches known as The Movement. I picked up clients here and there when I could; I helped quite a few people online through several avenues; and I grew my website to a size where I was getting a couple hundred hits every single day. On days that I’d post something new, traffic would spike to 500-700 visitors reading my new article. It got to the point where I felt comfortable that I knew I would be a successful gym owner.
Thinking that and being that are worlds apart. Financially, I couldn’t afford to do it alone. I lost my privileges to train at a local gym owned by another Movement member for reasons unbeknownst to me. Well, I knew the owner and I didn’t get along, but I’m not aware of the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. That left me without a gym to grow my client base to even try opening my own place. My obsession with the outdoors and climbing began to build (more on that shortly), and I stopped writing, training, or even thinking about these things. This dream is dying…
The Past Year
When I met my girlfriend a little over a year ago, we both had already, independently made vows to ourselves to become rock climbers. How circumstantially lucky was that? Since that time, climbing has been our main past time. We climb anywhere from 3-5 days/week, indoors and out. We plan vacations around climbing destinations. If we want to go to a climbing destination, but don’t have time to climb, we simply go somewhere that doesn’t have it so we don’t have to torture ourselves.
A couple months prior to meeting her, I started this site. It started as a site that I could use as an outlet to write about my other passion in life as well as keep a log of all the goofy things my friends and I do in the outdoors. That lasted for about 2 posts. It was around the same time my dream of being a gym owner began dying, and I realized I could try use this site as leverage for the marketing-type career change I mentioned above.
I’ve written reviews, been featured on TheClymb.com, interacted with company reps through Twitter, talked with freelance writers, applied to many many many job postings and not even been given the time of day, and even made an inside contact at one of the companies I’d like to work for. And again, here I sit.
When is it Time to Settle?
Based on results, I am not even close to making a career change, not unless something completely random and unforseen happens. Throughout this time, several people have approached me about opening a gym together, so that dream is not completely dead. However, nothing is happening either (for which I can be blamed). I’m still writing about climbing and product reviews and anything else relevant to the outdoors. Trust me, I WANT something to happen, and I am working [almost] as hard as I can to make something happen.But when it comes down to it, everyday that I’m stuck in my current position is a day that I slowly become a worse person. This life I’ve been living in an unhappy situation has made some fairly drastic character changes. I still possess the skills and characterstics I once had; they are sitting just below the surface. But with each day that goes by, they become more and more difficult to revive. So should I just settle for a different engineering job that will imrpove my situation in the short-term?
The problem with that, is that it’s just what I said: short term. Sure, I would be happy to be doing something new. Sure, I would be happy to be making more money (otherwise, why leave?). Sure, I may even like it to the point that I genuinely like it, and I can finally come to peace with the direction of my life. But that also has consequences…
Short term happiness means I close the door on any career change opportunity that may present itself after accepting a different engineering position (which is almost equally difficult to find). Short term happiness means I’m doing something other than my passion. Short term happiness means that in a couple of years, once the “new’ness” of the new job wears off, I’m right back here. Again. Is that really worth it?
On the flip-side, please reference 3 paragraphs up. That is a real, and dangerous, situation I’m in.
In the End…
… I don’t really know what I want to get out of this post. I don’t know what I want you to get out of this post. I don’t think anyone will read it and say, “gosh, I feel bad for the guy; I think I’ll offer him a job.” I don’t want your pity; there are many many many people out there in worse situations. I’m just not sure. Today, I feel defeated. And maybe I’m just looking for a pick-me-up. But don’t try too hard, because it will just be met with cynacism, one of the wonderful traits I’ve picked up during this time.
In the end, something has to change. But, what? When?
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.
Thank you for continuing to write. I enjoy your writing style for the cynicism, the humor, and the refreshing honesty. My career change years ago came with out-of-the-blue random luck and some risky leaps ….but was based on the type of hard work you are putting in now (contacts, putting yourself out there). Good luck.