Two months ago, Alyssa and I climbed into a helicopter and departed for my 50th job in Alaska at Denali National Park. We landed on a glacier at 7,200 feet, the base camp for Mt. McKinley (now called Mt. Denali). My job was shadowing a park ranger for the next 24 hours. After stepping off the helicopter I looked around – surrounded by peaks that were thousands of feet up in the air, jagged rocks on every side of me, and every few minutes there would be a mini avalanche that would come firing off one of the mountains.
If I had just come to Alaska as a tourist, this moment would be one I'd remember forever. But because it was my 50th job and the end to Hourly America, it meant so much more.
It meant I had finished. I had worked an hourly-paid job in all 50 states.
Crossing off my last job was bitter sweet. I was glad to be moving on to start the editing process for our documentary, but honestly I knew I'd miss all the crazy jobs I'd gotten used to working over the past year. Two months since Alaska and I can say that yes, I definitely do miss working two to three new jobs each week. There is something about learning new skills and constantly being outside of your comfort zone that forces you to grow as a person.
It would be impossible for me to list everything I've learned in the past year of traveling around and working jobs, but at the moment I feel immensely grateful. I feel gratitude for all of the people I worked alongside, all of the companies who hired me for a day and for Snagajob in helping me find work all over America.
If I could just share one thing I've learned in the past year, it would be this:
Don't live in fear.
Fear has been a constant in my life this past year. I was afraid to approach Snagajob for a sponsorship. I was afraid to buy an RV. Before almost each job I was afraid or nervous of starting something new. What I learned is that each part of the process and each time I did something outside my comfort zone, I felt fear. But fear is an indicator that something really incredible could be on the other side.
If I hadn't acted in spite of fear, I'd still be working my nine to five job. Instead, I've lived out the craziest and most amazing year of my life. I've been a farmer, park ranger, martial arts trainer, yoga instructor – you name it. I don't believe there is a "conventional" way to live out your career. Experiment, try new things and don't settle until you find something that lights you up.
Maybe you won't have to travel across the country to find something you're passionate about, or maybe you will. No matter what happens, don't let fear make the decisions.