CAITLIN

Do you ever have the sensation of time standing still? It only seems to occur during one of two moments: either you’re blown away with surprise, inspiration, and wonder – that rare moment when the Earth stops turning for just a brief second and nothing else in the whole world matters but what is directly in front of you. Or in the other case, time stops when you are completely and utterly bored. Until recently, my life was filled moments such as the latter.

Another conference call, another budget review, and I couldn’t help but stare at the clock. Why aren’t the hands moving? How could I still be in the same minute that felt like ages ago? With a gruff and a sigh, I took my pen and resumed doodling on the page that should’ve been filled with attentive and detailed notes, but instead is covered with mountains, grass, trees, clouds, or whatever element of nature struck my fancy at that moment. It was during one of those agonizing minutes when the age old question struck me, “What would I be doing right now if I had a million dollars?” I wouldn’t be here, I knew that. “Easy, I’d move to Alaska.” I chuckled to myself.

As the week slowly progressed, the idea grew inside of me. Finally, it got to the point where I couldn’t give a good answer as to why I wasn’t moving to Alaska. During a training session on profit and loss statements, I googled “Jobs in Alaska.” (I swear I am a better employee than I sound like). Scrolling down the list….Craigslist….state government…Monster.com….hmmmm….CoolWorks.com? What is that? I have hired people for years and used every major site, but I didn’t recognize this one. I clicked it. “Jobs in Great Places.” Well, I am looking for a job in a great place, so that is convenient. What do they have for Alaska? And by clicking that and scrolling down the page, my whole life broke.

Now I understand that sounds dramatic. It is. But it’s also true. People tell you they are on a break, to take a break, to gimme me a break, but in that moment I took my first step in choosing to break. Breaking is not negative as we sometimes assume, but instead, it is the action that allows rebuilding, change, and ultimately growth. As I scrolled down the lists of available jobs in Alaska, in my personal dream place, I knew there was no turning back. I chose to break the life of budgets, conference calls, and corporate ladders in order to rebuild a life of fresh air, amazing scenery, and awe-inspiring-time-stopping-OMG moments of pure wonder.

I probably applied for 100 jobs in Alaska in the next few weeks, using CoolWorks to find and locate every single position that would allow me to break from the ordinary and enter the extraordinary. These were all jobs that not only would help my day dreams become reality but also jobs that made me responsible for helping others have these amazing moments, from being a waiter at a remote wilderness lodge to being a tour guide for a significant place. It didn’t matter. What mattered was I choose to break, to change, to evolve, and I have never looked back.

I probably got turned down for 99 of those jobs, but the funny thing is I got the 100th job and it turned out to be exactly what I always dreamed about. As I write this from my desk at Above and Beyond Alaska, I am looking up at snow covered mountains, with a bald eagle flying in the distance, so there is no longer a need to doodle nature as I experience it every day. Whatever your doodle or daydream is, choose instead to break, to make a change, to pick your favorite spot on the map, and to rebuild a reality filled with moments of surprise, awe, and wonder. And CoolWorks just happens to be the perfect tool to get you started.

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