The Jump, a series for the soon to be graduate or someone contemplating a life move, is comprised of two stories of my close friends making the jump to new cities with no definite plans or certainties of what was to come. The only thing for sure, they would pursue their dreams and ambitions all out. Kyle one of best friends moved to Houston, Texas after completing his Finance degree in Ohio with no job lined up and not exactly sure what realm of finance he really wanted to work in, his story describes his discovery and development phase in Houston.
Corey another one of my best friends moved to New York to spark his design and start up career, again with no job lined up and no place to live in the most dynamic city in the world. The two stories ring out the importance of keeping faith, pushing forward, and not having to have it all figured out. Sometimes you just need the curiosity and courage to venture into the unknown.
Part II: Cleveland, NYC and Will
On June 27, 2011, I packed up everything I could fit into my truck and drove to New Jersey. I had maybe $400 to my name. Ever since I visited New York City as a kid I knew it was where I wanted to be and on this day I made it happen. The only problem is I had no place to live and after looking around for a few days things weren’t looking any better. I even had my first thoughts of going back home to Cleveland after only two days. After much uncertainty I found out that I had some family in Orange, New Jersey that I didn’t know about. They had an apartment for rent and I didn’t have many other choices so I took it.
I spent most of my time working at a fitness center as an assistant department head and nights and weekends learning HTML/CSS to add to my graphic design skill set. I knew that by doing this I could move on from the gym and start getting paid to do work that I enjoy. I landed a job as a web designer 8 months after moving to New Jersey and felt like I was on the right track. Fast forward 2 years later and the company I’m with is being sold leaving me without a job. I decided that I wouldn’t get another job and I would utilize my graphic/web design skills as a freelancer.
Life as a freelancer was tough. I had the skills and know how but zero clients. I lasted about 1 year. The same thoughts I had about returning home during my search for an apartment started to resurface. I took a 3 week trip back home to Cleveland to figure things out and finally decided that I would find a job when I returned to Jersey.
During my search for a job I started to post more of my design work online. My work caught the eye of an entrepreneur in New York working on a startup that just got a first round of funding. He sent me an email and we set a meeting for the day after I was to get back in town. The meeting went well I fully expected to get the job, but that didn’t happen. I stayed persistent by emailing this company new designs and ideas for months. I finally got a response to meet up again. My persistence paid off and I was introduced to the CEO of another company who hired me after our first meeting.
This whole journey has taught me a lot about faith. Each step of the way I had to continue to believe in myself and my abilities. Even with all of the uncertainty I had faith that things would work out for the best. This is something that I had to remind myself of daily and I still do. When I dropped out of college long before I moved to New Jersey I had to have faith when everyone was telling me to do something different. Everything didn’t happen when or how I wanted it to but I knew I had to keep moving forward despite thoughts of turning back. The journey is far from over and I have many more lessons to learn through patience and persistence.
Written by Corey Scott