Ryan Rodenbaugh's personal site


1 year ago I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Finance and no job. It was not until the weekend before graduation that the woman I had been working for the past few months texted me and told me she could guarantee to pay me 3 months of salary and she would support me and help me move out to San Francisco (thank you Michelle!). So within the span of 2 weeks, I sold all my belongings in Arizona, found a 1-month sublet on Craigslist for a cheap apartment in SF, and headed out to the Bay with a few boxes of belongings. My first few months there were extremely tough and in my first 4 months I SF I lived in 3 different apartments as I tried to keep paying under market rent prices so that I could save some of the money I was making.

Now, 1 year later:

The message that I want to share here and that I have shared with several friends recently is that if you are not satisfied with your current status in life (whether because you are lonely, not being challenged, or whatever it may be), GET UP AND MOVE. I have two friends right now who are, on a bit of a whim, moving to new cities with no jobs. I am sure they are both a bit nervous, but for their own reasons they have both become bored with their current geographies and they are looking for new challenges. If you have the ability to (e.g., no crushing debt, no spouse, and no kids) and you are unhappy, just move.

When I moved to San Francisco 1 year ago, I was terrified. As I was writing this note, I scrolled through Evernote and found something I had written to myself before my first day of work in SF. It is a bit embarrassing but I am attaching it here anyway. I hope it convinces someone else contemplating taking a big risk right now, to just do it!

“11:25 PM on 06/02/2017

I’m nervous. For the first time in a long time, I am scared. It’s all set in. I haven’t felt this kind of fear in a little under 4 years. The last time I felt this scared I had just had my final dinner with my family before they were leaving me at college 3,000 miles from home. That was different though. It was always possible that I would not like Arizona State and that I could just transfer. It was never possible that I would fail.

Now, it’s possible that I may fail. I moved to a new, expensive, competitive city with a guaranteed job for only 3 months. Tomorrow is the first day.

But fortune favors the bold. I am excited, scared, all the above. Regardless, I am going to wake up at 5:30 AM tomorrow, kick ass at the gym, take the train down to Palo Alto, and figure out the rest of my life.


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First published on June 10, 2018