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I've been watching the cool works page for years; applying here and there when my current job is being particularly soul-sucking. In the last couple of months, I've started a serious job search. But first, back story. 

I've worked as a swim instructor for four years. Before that, I was a wrangler at a summer camp. Before that, I was a full time college student majoring in Follow Your Heart and not caring what my future looked like as long as it "felt right". Let me tell you. That bright eyed kid that walked onto that college campus is far from Following her Heart and I have to start giving a damn about my future now because nothing I've done since then has "felt right". 

I first found Coolworks the summer after I dropped out of college. By that time, I was a depressed, almost suicidal, definitely burnt out shell of that once bright eyed kid. I didn't apply to anything. I wasn't in any condition to travel anywhere away from my support base. I got a job teaching babies how not to drown and that was that. But Coolworks was a place I could go to dream. "Someday," I'd say to myself, "Someday I'll work up the guts to get out and see these places. I'll get a job and travel the world." 

I've been repeating that line for over four years now. I've gotten much better emotionally and become a hell of a lot more confident in myself. As for Coolworks, I've kept on casually viewing the jobs and dreaming, not daring to actually jump in and go for it. Until this summer. This summer, the promotion I'd been promised for three years finally happened. It's been a great experience and I've learned a lot from it. But I've also learned that no matter what I give to that little pool, I'll never get more out of it than part time hours, minimal pay, and a hostile work environment. So I took the plunge. 

I've finally started applying to all the great jobs on Coolworks. I don't know if they'll go anywhere or how long I have to wait, but I'm in this for the long haul. I've rebuilt my life from the bottom up. Now it's time to go deeper and find that happiness I had when I worked outside all day and could hug a horse whenever I needed it. Here I am. Watch me go. 

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Comment by Nicole Barrett on March 20, 2017 at 5:42pm

Update- About 6 months ago, I started hearing back from all my applications. Most of them didn't go anywhere, but I finally ended up working at a local homeless shelter with a much better company than my previous employer. So far, I love what I'm doing, even though it's not a position from a CoolWorks listing. 

I haven't stopped looking through CoolWorks, though. Part of my job is to find job listings and low income housing options for our clients. So I've started referring my clients to jobs listed on CoolWorks. It may not be the same as working in the Rockies or living in Denali, but now that I have a better work situation, I can help people who need the work more than I do find a place to live as well. It also means that I can take actual vacation time and visit those places if I want.

All of this is not to say that I won't ever leave this company and find a job in the mountains somewhere, but right now, this is where I need to be. 

Comment by Kelcy @ CoolWorks on February 5, 2017 at 9:57am

Congrats Nicole! What's the latest? Do you have any adventures planned for 2017?

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