This week we welcome Adam Bertram, aka Adam the Automator. Adam wrote a post called “I told my boss I quit and……” which went viral, so we invited Adam to join us. Our goal for having Adam on RJT is to learn from his personal journey of career discovery.
Adam’s a tech pressional/sys admin, blogger, and content creator.
We asked Adam to share his journey before he quit. At the beginning of Adam’s career, he hopped jobs for money. He started a side hustle selling used books on Amazon. With the freedom of making extra money, he realized that he could take his side hustle contracts and make them his full time job.
Adam started taking contracts writing blog posts, which he loved, and doing projects, which he loved, which led him to realize that he could build a satisfying career around writing and project contracts.
We talk through multiple income streams and balancing different roles, family and more. Adam gives his wife a lot of credit for helping him to focus on work by managing their home and family. He is conscious at his different roles: contract/consulting for automation/devops, content creation and community building, and personal brand enhancement. When he looks at them, Adam makes sure he’s consistent and knows what the vision he's heading for in the end.
Adam brings his talents into everything he learns. For example, he’s started learning about stock trading and he already started a blog go share his process and help others benefit. Building content helps Adam build his brand as a content developer.
Adam has multiple resumes: writing/content creation, consulting and systems administration. He focuses on different roles for each resume so that he can find a variety of work and have more open options.
When we know our patterns, we can make choices that work for us. When Adam gets bored, he finds something new and gets obsessed and tries to learn everything about it. Knowing his own patterns allows Adam to know when he needs to pick up something new, and also that he’s going to need lots of time to dive in deeply.
Exploring being your own boss with Adam, we learned about his entrepreneurial spirit. Adam looked at his happiness when he had great jobs and still wasn’t happy, and realized he needed to make a big change to working for himself. Knowing this, he realized he needs the freedom of consulting and building his own schedule. Knowing himself and that he’s “unemployable” has helped him tailor his career and consultancy.
The move to consultancy happened by dabbling in consulting while working full time. His past as a job hopper helped Adam know that he CAN find a job when he needs to. Having an exit plan helped Adam to navigate the unknown. The boundaries and parameters around the exit plan help to assess.
Not everyone has freedom to decide on work without money being the driver, but Adam has worked hard to build his FU account in order to make the best personal choices for his career without the pressue of needing the next paycheck. He chooses work, clients and colleagues based on work and team fit vs paychecks. His happiness is tied to his ability to choose the work he does.
Adam advice to others who wanted to get started is to monetize a hobby. He started selling books on Ebay and Amazon, and then started a blog about how to do it, and then wrote an ebook, which became a lucrative side business that had nothing to do with his day job.
We discussed using community to power a career. Adam has always been a documenter. He blogged about what he did, and used it to help him manage projects. He ranked on a post in Google and heard that he was helping others, which really motivated him to be a part of the community and make connections. The connections grew at conferences, on Twitter, on Linkedin, and then as he grew as a MSFT MVP and learned from others. He saw his impact grow and learned so much from others that it motivated him to continue to share and learn from his communities.
When starting a blog, it’s all about creating content and not overthinking. Over time you can look at things like SEO, but it’s about writing and sharing and engaging other writers to build an audience. Adam also advises writing on all types of different sites to make sure you spread yourself out to get a bigger audience to link to your blog.