I earn $200K a year without a college degree after testing out 28 jobs. Here's what I learned from job-hopping.


Throughout my career, I've followed a non-traditional path that has led me to my current role as a technical product manager at Forbright Bank. Despite not having a college degree and experiencing challenges such as undiagnosed ADHD and narcolepsy, I've embraced various jobs, drawing valuable lessons and skills from each experience.

I gained empathy and curiosity from my 13 food service jobs, which helped me in later leadership positions. While working in food service, I interacted with a diverse range of people, including coworkers with different backgrounds and customers sharing their stories. This cultivated an understanding of empathy and the importance of being curious about everyone I meet.

In between food service jobs, I took on eight miscellaneous roles, where I learned to appreciate the value of every job, regardless of its perceived prestige. These experiences taught me to focus on the skills and lessons offered by each position, viewing them as part of my compensation. I understood that if a job stopped aiding my growth, it was time to move on to the next opportunity.

My time in retail sales, including positions at the Apple store, a Honda dealership, and Best Buy, provided key insights into the art of sales. I discovered that effective sales is not about persuading others but rather listening and understanding their needs. These techniques have proven invaluable in my current role, where I continuously leverage my ability to listen, ask pertinent questions, and effectively communicate ideas.

It wasn't until the age of 28 that I landed my first full-time job with benefits at a solar energy manufacturer, marking a significant milestone in my career. The role not only allowed me to work in an industry I was passionate about but also provided access to health insurance, enabling me to receive treatment for my ADHD and narcolepsy. With improved focus and newfound certifications, I qualified for higher-paying positions, significantly increasing my earning potential and market value.

Ultimately, I've found my calling in my current position at Forbright Bank. I've learned the importance of connecting with others, continuously advancing, and maintaining an open and curious mindset throughout my unique career journey. I hope that others can draw inspiration and guidance from my experiences and recognize the valuable lessons present in every step of their own career paths.  

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