By Danny Sellers
The Coldest Summer In San Francisco: Why I Can't Keep a Job
I can't keep a job..like it's bad, yall. I graduated from Elon University in May of 2014. Since then I have had three different jobs, moved across the country, moved back, started/registered one business, started to get another one going, lost good parts of my hairline and more.
"I just don't want to sell Insurance": I played football my whole life. Was blessed to catch a full ride for four years at a solid Division 1 school. After my senior season was over, like many proactive students I went to the career center looking to prepare my resume and maybe get leads on companies I should apply for, etc etc. Beyond majoring in Business Marketing, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do post graduation (like the majority of college kids. Shouts out to the American school system). To get the meeting started the career counselor asks me what I wanted to do. I told her something around marketing and even sales because I liked the competitiveness aspect. That obviously didn't give her too much direction, so she asks me is there anything you wouldn't want to do. I told her, "I want to sell something fun, I don't want to sell something like Insurance" fast forward 7 months later, was my first day as a Financial Representative in Charlotte selling, you guessed it, Insurance. (Life, lol wyd.)
Friends Making Moves: After graduation I moved straight to Charlotte, NC. Literally 3 days after graduation I started my first job. Me, Myself and I packed my truck and lived with a friend for 6 weeks til my apartment was ready (shouts out to Tomeka). Around this time a lot of my friends were in major cities or soon making the move to one. All these are people that I knew and kicked it with at some point pretty often. So not a huge difference intellectually or in interest. Charlotte is a dope city but I knew I needed to be at the same level as these guys, to at least give myself a shot. So applications started late summer of 2015. Cities included New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 2 out of three I had never been and the other only once.. (I knew I had to start pulling up from 40)
Homecoming 2016: After many good shots of Henny, a Prophyte (Fraternity Big Brother) of mine asked me what I was looking for after I mentioned moving to Chicago from SF after a year. Roy tells me, "Seems like you’re looking for something, what are you looking for?" I was SHOOK. Yes, it could have been due to the healthy but large amount of Hennessy consumed. But more importantly it was obvious I was looking for something. Even somebody that cares but isn't in my life daily could tell my constant lack of contentedness.
As a kid I painted. I played organized sports my whole life, because I was good at them and I knew how to make myself better at them. But I always gravitated to art and creativity in general. I didn't grow up seeing my parents painting or drawing but at a young age I was asking for paint sets for Christmas because I liked that shit. No other influence or explanation. Today, I never paint or draw.
At some point as we "grow up" we lose ourselves. We lose sight of what at the core makes us happy and what we want to make a living doing while keeping a constant level of mental stability. As I look back on this year, I can see a lot of small but legitimate signs of depression. Not wanting to go out on the weekends, staying in my apartment all weekend, walking home from work feeling panicked, not being able to sleep well on weekdays, sadness on Sunday evenings, constantly checking my phone even when on PTO. The list goes on. Nothing clearly harmful to myself but being self aware, I know It could have got a lot worse.
My job consisted of sitting in a office 9-11 hours a day cold calling and cold emailing people to set meetings for Account Managers. For some people doing this was ok. It sucked but it was something they didn't mind doing for a year or two before they got promoted to a marginally better gig within the organization or elsewhere. I hated it to the core. Being stuck in a office all day emailing and calling people easily 20+ times a month just wasn't something that I morally enjoyed or really bought into 100%. The professional politics and cons that come with any bureaucratic system is a whole other post.
So what am I getting at? I just quit my 3rd job in 2.5 years. I'm consistently unhappy with the majority of my professional hours during the day so I'm going to lay low and build my own knowledge, experience, expertise and businesses. Will these eventually open doors for me to work for someone else where I can add value? Maybe. Will I be the last person I ever work for? That would be tight too. But all I know is I'd be insane to keep trying to keep a job just for a false sense of stability or neglect passions for another founder's dream. So if you somehow lost track of that kid who asked for football cleats and painting sets in the same Christmas like I did... Go find him/her. Cause at some point during middle school tryouts, senior prom, ACT/SAT test prep, major declaration, your college GPA, and bills they might have been lost.
I can't keep a job cause I don't want a job. I want a lifestyle, autonomy, balance, satisfaction and happiness.
Photo Credit: Danny Sellers