Last week, I was driving through the suburb of Denver where I grew up. It was graduation week across the front range, and my route took me right past my high school. The now-aged and worn message board that had been the class gift from my graduating class was bearing a message at the entrance to the student parking lot: “Good luck graduates, we love you!”
Reading that sign and being right in that spot and season that represented such a milestone sent me throttling back to the feelings of my wild-child, 17-year-old self. I remembered how much freedom and electricity existed there in that moment. It’s a momentous occasion to step into being your own governor, guardian, and guide.
Immersed in those goosebump budding memories, reflecting on the series of decisions that I made since that time in my life that have led me to where I am now, I made a wish for every kid graduating in every town and every corner of the country. “I hope you leap.” Big city, small town, suburb, rural community – it doesn’t matter where you’re from. All that matters is that if you feel that calling to go, to set off on your own, to seek new things and new experiences, to shape and sculpt who you want to be, that you swallow your fear and leap at it.
For me, that leap wasn’t college after high school – it was taking a Front Desk Agent job in Grand Teton National Park I had found on CoolWorks the spring before I turned 22. It was packing up my car and driving solo to my neighboring state to the north to start a new chapter.
I was beyond terrified. I got there, checked in, unloaded my car, and was convinced that I’d stay in my cramped dorm room and eat animal crackers for dinner, rather than brave the daunting walk to someplace called the “employee dining room” filled with strangers. And right then I met my first friend, Sean Carlson – and it wasn’t quite as scary as I thought it would be.
From there on, it was a series of fear hurdles that I kicked myself to jump over. And I can say with complete sincerity and certainty that my life was never the same. My world opened up. This seasonal job in the next state over had starting building the muscle that I used when I moved abroad to work and travel in New Zealand for a year, when I took the somewhat humiliating two tries (and applied again after being rejected) to get the insanely amazing job to spend a summer driving around Iceland, and when I took the shot at buying the business that had been the Ace card in changing my life forever.
Leaping is always scary. Each time, we open ourselves up to failure or embarrassment or rejection, and we probably endure some scratches, bruises, and burns – but great things lie right on the other side of those flaming fear hoops.
One of the things I love the most about CoolWorks is it gives this pivotal graduation moment to anyone – at any time or any season in life.
Are you over your 9-5, cubical dwelling, mortgage paying hopscotch? Have you just launched some graduates of your own and entering a new era of freedom? Do you know you want to go back to school eventually but you’re not exactly sure what your calling is quite yet and don’t want to take on more loan debt than necessary?
Here’s where a CoolWorks job fits in. Take a breather – take an adventure! Take a walk to clear your head that lasts for an entire summer in one of the most amazing places you’ll ever get to be. They’re versatile, they’re magical and they’re transformative. And whether it’s three days or three years from now, it might just be one of your all-time favorite chapters.
Ready to pack a bag and hit it? We’re excited to announce that back by popular demand is the Help Wanted Now page! Search through opportunities from employers who are looking for help ASAP. Apply today, wake up in paradise tomorrow!
When you get there we hope you’ll share your experiences and adventures – don’t forget to tag us with #CoolWorksJobs!