Can I Create My Own Career?

I’ve been working at the grocery store for over 10 years now and I’m still trying to find a way out of that place. Trying to turn retail into a career is a waste but so is working hourly at the store. I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever be able to make a career out of something. Right now, the best thing I’ve got is my WordPress enthusiast community in which I seem to be building my own career from the bottom up. The first year brought in a total of around $4,000.00 which is below poverty level. However, I’m already on my way to shattering that amount this year by introducing more affiliate reviews into the site and doing some other things.

What I worry about though is whether I can actually pull this off. That is, with a wife, a house, and bills to pay, can I work part time at the grocery store and eventually make my enthusiasm for WordPress a full time job. Since I started the project in March of 2009, every stat related to the domain has increased. I wonder if I’d be better off getting a second job somewhere other than the grocery store or finding a job that has a career path. But those jobs that have a career path are few and far between. Plus, my lack of education kills me. Also, since I’m only into my second year of the project and momentum is on my side, it would be foolish to give that up now.

Just thinking about all those people who have careers that pay $30,000 or more per year while I only made a total of $18,000 for 2009. I hope this is the year of the big payout so I can keep doing what I enjoy doing.

2 thoughts on “Can I Create My Own Career?

  1. Wouldn’t hurt to write about your other passions online somewhere. Maybe get in with some more blogs… if you like writing.

    Also, I might have given you this piece of advice before: keep your life as cheap as possible, as it will make your ability to create success from your own work more likely. I always had to take jobs that weren’t ideal for me in order to pay for things, and I look back on that now, and wish I hadn’t.

    I know for a fact you can make a career our of your WordPress enthusiasm. Just keep on being a voice for the community, feed back to them what they are looking for, and continue to try to find revenue generating opportunities.

  2. Ten years at the grocery store? That’s dedication, I’ve never stuck with one job more than two years!

    I’d suggest looking for something in your field of expertise related to journalism, social media, and community management. There are a lot of shady marketeers out there making tons of money pretending that they are “social media experts”. It is a real shame that you haven’t been able to capitalize on your genuine knowledge and skills to further your career.

    Lack of formal education could be a problem, some employers can still be pretty traditional about degrees an such. But I wouldn’t place too much stock in it, I have a GED and a 2 year degree from a community college. I don’t think that has put me at a disadvantage against people with 4 or more years at a better school. In fact as soon as you have your first professional job, even the best university is pushed down to the bottom of your resume.

    That being said, I have taught a few community college courses myself and still think it can have some value. Even just taking a single class in an area you think you are weak in could open new doors; rounding out your knowledge, showing potential employers that you are serious, and making local connections.

    Being self-employed and working out of your own office sounds like a dream job to me too, but it could take you a while to build up to that. Have you looked much into your local area at old fashioned bricks-and-mortar jobs that might offer more to your career path in pay and experience?

    I have done work for old school print media in my region, small newspapers and magazines. They all recognize that print is shrinking as the Net grows and are looking for talented people like you to help them make that transition. Most probably wouldn’t have the budget for a full time staffer, but it could be a valuable stepping stone for you.

    Of course, WordPress is still growing by strides and I’m sure you can grow your career with it. So many books are starting to come out, but they are all geared towards the technical details of WordPress. I think there is plenty of room for some good books on how to actually use these tools to be a successful blogger, podcaster, or publisher. You could write 10 or 12 longer form essays for your site, and easily reformat them as an interesting book.

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