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The Surprising Power of Remote Work: Sam Kern (Transcript)

Sam Kern at TEDxHieronymusPark

Full text of freelancer Sam Kern’s talk: The Surprising Power of Remote Work at TEDxHieronymusPark event.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


Sam Kern – Freelance software developer

A year ago I was recording conversations for a podcast episode on the topic of ‘How To Spend Your Twenties?’

And I posed this question to someone that I deeply admire. He’s a Professor at Montana State University named Dr. Thomas Donovan. This is what he told me.

“I think you should spend your twenties like you spend the rest of your life – Being curious! All your decades should be filled with curiosity!”

And it’s wonderful advice, right.

But here’s the thing. As we get older our ability to act on our curiosity seems to diminish. As children we were encouraged to follow our curiosity. We’re given the space to explore and to pursue the things that interest us. But then we become an adult.

This is me, a college graduate. On the outside – looking quite confident about the whole thing. But on the inside I was feeling more lost than I’ve ever felt in my life. I just completed a four-year computer science degree and I had landed a lucrative job as a software engineer.

But I felt stuck. And that’s because software engineering was not my passion.

There’s a poem by Mary Oliver that ends:

‘Tell me what is it you plan to do with this one, wild and precious life?’

And this is the question that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I knew that there had to be something else out there for me. I just didn’t know what it was yet.

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