Allow me some transparency, please. I’m 29 years old and I deliver pizzas and Chinese food.
It’s OK. I could blame this on the economy, but I won’t. I’m certain this is all part of a plan to help me develop, and that’s just what I’m doing.
Just over a year ago, I let go of my “career” job. I was the sports editor at a weekly newspaper in a dinky Illinois town. This was a three-year, short-lived career, one that maybe wasn’t worth the investment in the name of journalism at Eastern Illinois University. But, I don’t blame the college as much as a hapless Matt Rennels at the age of 19. (That’s my name, by the way)
But, 13 months ago I came to the realization that I didn’t care for this job, the industry’s future looked bleak at best, and the pay wasn’t enough to make it a hard decision to step out.
It’s been a long 13 months as far as my w-4 records are concerned. Here’s where I’ve been:
- Freelance Writing – Rennels Writing was birthed. I saw visions of big paychecks, being paid *wonderfully* per story, and being able to be my own boss, but it turned out this is an extremely hard field to truly make it in, and I hadn’t yet acquired the skills necessary to be a boss. I had already proven I could write well, but it turned out that was only about 10 percent of the battle, and I hadn’t yet developed the other 90 percent . It also turns out it’s good to really get on your feet before doing this full-time. SO, I failed.
- Chubby’s Pizza delivery – I had done this for four years before moving away, and I picked up my red pizza bag and went at it again to sustain me getting my freelance writing going. After I dropped freelance writing, I picked up more hours and was delivering pizzas ’til 3 am several nights a week.
- Jimmy John’s delivery and Target stockroom worker – I picked these jobs up over my fiance and mine’s brief summer in Minnesota in order to fund the wedding. They may not have been career-oriented, but they gave a square kick in the pants as to why I should be.
- New Car Sales – These days (two weeks) consisted of a lof of ridiculously strong break room coffee and popcorn (offered to customers to make them feel comfortable). Quite possibly the worst two weeks of my life, I was in a constant internal battle. Anyone ever hear of Dave Ramsey? Are you a fan? If you are, you should know I am a very devoted fan, and you should then know that this was therefore really, really hard.
- Copywriter, sales for Website company – The timing wasn’t exacly right here. I’m not blaming the state of the economy, I’m saying that I should never have attempted this venture at the beginning of a marriage when there is little money in the bank. Not smart.
- Michael’s Pizza delivery – I picked this job up as additional income as I got the copywriting job off the ground. Since the copywriting job never sprouted wings, I’m still delivering pizzas.
- Chopsticks chinese food delivery – No matter if I’m able to find fulfilling work, I have to find work that fills the holes in the budget. I got this job to supplement the pizza delivery job after the copywriting job crashed.
That’s where I’m at. I guess you could say I never envisioned myself delivering pizzas or chinese food as a main source of income at the age of 29, but when you don’t set goals, you certainly don’t reach them, huh?
I can’t trust in college degrees. I can’t depend on solid writing ability. I can’t place my faith in the government-installed career centers to set me on my way. I wasn’t created to be a newspaper reporter, I know that much, and as for the rest, I place my faith in the Lord.
God knows what’s best for me. Is that as simple as a salary of $30,000, good benefits, 9-5 hours and weekends off? I may have thought so at times, but that is NOT SO. God’s process is teaching me discipline and it’s requiring me to look inward, something we don’t do when we are comfortable. He’s creating new levels of patience in both myself and my wife. He’s taken me to levels of humility that I’ve never known.
I’ll end with this: As a result of this roadblock, I’ve delved into an amazing resource, entitled ’48 Days to the Work You Love’, an interactive study written by Dan Miller. He always says that 85 percent of a proper job search, one that truly fits the seeker, is looking inward. We must first learn who we are, what skills and attributes we have to offer, and then we find what job fits us, a reverse of what many people involve themselves in. The material is brilliant. You can count on me to quote it often on this Web site and Facebook.
“The major quet in life is not what you are getting, but what you are becoming.” – Dan Miller