One hundred seventy eight. That’s how many jobs I’ve applied to in the past year living in Boulder.
Most were local, but every once in awhile, when I was swimming in a sea of rejection feeling frustrated and defeated, I would send my resume to cool shops in Seattle, Portland, or NorCal—cities with good riding, good coffee, and good people.
Do you know how it feels to get rejected 178 times? I do and it sucks.
“I thought I was better than that,” I would think to myself when I’d receive one lifeless reply after another, each ending with something like: “…and we wish you well on your job search.” A long, slightly more polite way to say NO.
I suppose I’ve been picky, too. I could’ve had a full-time copywriting job by now. I’ve been offered a few, but they weren’t right. They were either too far away or I’d leave an interview with hesitation caught in my chest. The thing is, if it doesn’t or won’t make me happy, it’s not happening. I’ve stuck to that.
I guess all this has been on my mind lately because a friend of mine comes into Rapha for coffee every morning and the conversation is always the same: he hates his job and everything is awful. He’s going to have an awful day because his managers are soulless and incompetent. The multi-billion dollar company he works for takes advantage of its employees, forcing them to work weekends and holidays. But the money is good. Really good. And he can buy new bikes like groceries. He can live in a swanky part of town with a 2-bedroom apartment to match.
I hear all of this before his first sip of coffee, and it sucks as much life out of me as it does him. I can hear the sadness in his voice.
It’s been on my mind because I was in that sad place once, not necessarily hating my job or co-workers or company, but simply feeling stuck. And letting the stuck-ness seep into every corner of my life and relationships.
While all this was on my mind, it made its way to my heart. I want to encourage anyone who feels like this to make a change. If it’s financially possible for you, quit your job. Take a pay cut for awhile. Pick a job that’ll get you by and give you time to figure out what really makes you happy. I did it when I was at rock bottom, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Maybe I’ll have to apply to 278 jobs to find IT but it’ll be worth it, and it’ll be right.
That was a lot for a Monday, but I hope it reaches someone who needs to hear it. Moving on to lighter things.
(1) The We Got To Hang Out podcast is money. Cold hard cash. Living in Boulder has exposed me to a ton of cool people, and I actually know a few people interviewed here. The latest episode is one of the greatest. Daniel of Mythical State Of is hilarious and I made the mistake of listening at work. Have you ever gone into a bathroom or walked outside to let out a belly laugh? Asking for a friend.
(2) Boulder thrift stores are basically Nordstroms. I went to one near me to sell some clothes and found a BRAND NEW WITH TAGS Outdoor Voices sweatshirt for $16. Even if you’re indoors-y you’ve probably heard of Outdoor Voices. Boulder, man. I felt guilty for half a second and then it passed completely.
(3) Last winter felt like a trial run for winter cycling. I wasn’t a cyclist when I lived in Buffalo, so I only knew how to run in the cold. I’ve been slowly stocking up on gear and prepping myself for longer, colder rides. And I’m putting off trainer rides as long as I possibly can. Since I’m nursing some serious foot pain, I swapped my Monday morning run for early road miles. Daniel put it perfectly on the podcast: “Eighteen miles per hour is roughly the best way to see the world. Walking is too fucking slow and you miss shit in a car.”