May 31, 2023

From Solitude to Success: Transforming Your Job Search with the Degree Free Network (DF#99)

From Solitude to Success: Transforming Your Job Search with the Degree Free Network

Unlocking Opportunities With The Degree Free Network

Looking for a job can feel lonely and isolating.

When we're trying to find a job, we often send out many applications, face rejections, and get no response to our emails.

The whole process of creating resumes, going to interviews, and waiting for a reply can be really tough on our morale. It can be lonely and demotivating.

That's why we made the Degree Free Network!

In this episode, we talk about how important it is to have a community when you're looking for a job without a degree.

When you join The Degree Free Network, you’ll get the support you need to get hired, get that promotion, and achieve your career goals!

You’ll be able to network with other Degree Free people who are all leveling up and reaching their professional goals.

What’s more? You’ll gain access to our free courses and resources!

Grow together and be part of a community that is committed to helping each other succeed!

Join The Degree Free Network at!

Enjoy the episode!

Want to make a huge career change?

Sick of applying to jobs and hearing nothing back?

If that's you, then check out our Career Change Crash Course. We'll teach you how to identify the skills you need to get the work you want, how to craft a story around your past experience, and how to sell your skills to your future employer!

Like, subscribe, write us a review, and if you have a question or want some advice email us at [email protected]

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Want to learn how to use ChatGPT for your job search? Check out the previous episode!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Hannah [00:00:00]:

I think back to my journey and the entire thing that started me down the tech certification path was some anonymous person on Reddit making a comment that I happened to see and that changed the trajectory of my entire life. And that is why we know the power of community, the power of a group of people together can change people's lives. And that's why we started the Degree Free Network.

Ryan [00:00:44]:

Maruyama aloha, folks. And welcome back to Degree Free where we teach you how to get hired without a college degree. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. It is great to have you back.

Hannah [00:00:56]:

Welcome back. Welcome back, as always to the podcast, folks. We are stoked to have you with us today.

Ryan [00:01:01]:

Yes, I am very excited for today's episode because we are going to be announcing and launching the most requested feature, I guess is the best way to call it for the Degree Free people. And so I'm going to give it to you upfront. We are starting the Degree Free Network and that is a community for people just like yourself, degree Free people to come together and help each other get the work they want and change their lives. So if you are already sold and you want to sign up for the Degree Free Network, go to Degreefree Co Network and you can sign up there. We are really excited about this.

Hannah [00:01:47]:

Yes, Ryan will be there. I will be there. You will be there if you sign up.

Ryan [00:01:50]:

Yeah, exactly. And in the community, we have a lot of things planned and it is free to join. We plan on having exclusive Q and A's and hopefully we can get enough people in this community that we can start attracting guest speakers to come on so that you can get answers to the questions for your career change. Because I know one of the most difficult parts of making a massive job change or career change, or you're trying to get your first job, or you're trying to completely change industries. One of the hardest things is knowing what you should know. And if we can have enough people in this community, we can attract other experts in the field and we can have them on and you can ask your questions there. So definitely go to degreefree co network to sign up. We also have a couple of free courses in there already designed to help you get the work you want. If you don't know where to start, those courses are going to be perfect for you and we have just so much more and I will get into all of the courses and everything like that in a second.

Hannah [00:03:03]:

Ryan and I have been working on this for quite some time. This was years ago now that I first asked our TikTok audience. I said, hey, what do you guys want? What do you need? And the answer to that question overwhelmingly was community. Because job seeking is the worst. It is so lonely and it can be so discouraging. And that is what people needed. They need other people to go through and share that experience because even when you have a partner or a family, they can't understand how isolating that is. To be looking for a job and applying and just getting rejection after rejection after rejection. So it helps to have other people who are going through that with you and figuring out, hey, this is what I did, I tried this. It's just amazing. The power of people.

Ryan [00:03:46]:

Yeah. Even worse than rejection is what majority of people experience, which is just silence. And that silence. When you have applied to hundreds and hundreds of applications and hundreds and hundreds of jobs, that silence can be deafening and it can really start to get you down. And as you were just alluding to, it is lonely and it is isolating and nobody else can do it for you. Right? Or, I mean, there are services I think that can actually do it for you. But I think the most effective way is for you to take charge of your career and you do it. But this is going to be a place where we can all come together and brainstorm and share tactics, ideas of how to get out of the situation that we're in now and get into the situation that we want to be in in the future and going forward.

Hannah [00:04:36]:

Another reason we wanted to start the community was for accountability. It is really, really tough to set goals for yourself and then keep them when you are on a long haul job search because it's easy to procrastinate. And then as you get discouraged from getting rejections or just hearing silence, you just don't want to fill out your job applications for today. You just don't want to tweak your resume again. You just don't want to fill out this application after you just attached your resume again. But you need to you have to keep going. And what really helps with that is having other people who are doing the same thing, who you can visibly see that they are doing the work, they are putting in the applications, they are doing the research on the companies and they are upskilling to get better jobs. And you want to see that other people are doing that alongside of you and you want to be able to be accountable to those people too. And it helps a lot.

Ryan [00:05:25]:

I think back to all of the times when I was trying to transition from different careers. I've held every job under the sun in every industry and I've transitioned careers multiple times. But the biggest one for me. And this is why I always say it on this podcast, was getting out of bartending into a desk job. And I did that right out of college. I've told the story before it took seven months, six months or so of applying to hundreds of jobs every single day before I actually got hired. But that job sucked, and it really ate away my soul. And so after eleven months, I quit, but I was still bartending that whole time. And so I went back to a full time bartender, and I really needed to get out. Fast forward another two years later. I was just like, man, maybe I should have kept that desk job. Even though I was miserable, because I'm miserable now as a bartender. And what would happen is I would self sabotage myself because I didn't have any accountability. And I would apply to jobs and I would get an interview. And then the night before, I would party or not prepare and sleep late or play video games or do something when I'm like, I don't normally do that. Why did I just do that? And I think it was just a lot of fear because it was very lonely, because I didn't know anybody at the time that was doing any of these things. And I couldn't not complain, but I couldn't confide in anybody for that support. Just be like, no, go to sleep. And it's like, no, do you need help with a mock interview? I didn't know anybody at the time. And so what I want this degree free network to be is I want this to be the resource that I needed back then. Because when I was making that career change, when I was bartending and I did not see a light at the end of the tunnel, it was really dark. I was like, Man, I don't know anybody that's trying to get out of the situation that I'm currently in. All of my friends, everybody that I knew at the time, they were all restaurant people. They were all living the restaurant lifestyle. And for those listening that work in restaurants, especially the night shift, maybe day breakfast, maybe swing shift, it's not so bad. But if you worked a closing shift and you work at a bar, it's rough. The lifestyle wasn't conducive to all of the goals that I had for the rest of my life. And I was like, man, I need to surround myself with people that are like minded, that are trying to get out of this situation, but I just don't know how to do it, especially since I'm working full time. And what I started doing was I started listening to podcasts. That's how I got surrounded by people that were trying to, quote, unquote, succeed in life or trying to do things that I wanted to do.

Hannah [00:08:18]:

I can verify this is true too, because I used to drive to work and Ryan would walk to work and we met working at the same place and I would drive by him with his headphones in listening to his podcasts on the way to work.

Ryan [00:08:28]:

Yeah, so on every walk to work, I would listen to podcasts. And when I woke up in the morning, I would listen to podcasts and try to fill my brain with all of this knowledge and surround myself virtually obviously with people that were doing things that I wanted to do. And you can definitely do that and I hope that you're doing that right now with this podcast and other podcasts. And if you know somebody struggling in the job search that wants to change their careers, change their life, make more money, get that promotion, whatever their job goal is, please share this podcast with them. Because you never know, this could be the impetus for them to change the rest of their life as all of those podcasts back then were for me. And after literally a year of every day listening to all these different podcasts, finally it gave me the confidence that I needed to make the steps and make the changes that I needed to make. But that's a long winded way of saying I wish that I had had a network of people that I could go to and ask for advice and be a part of and give advice and engage with other people that are like minded like me. And so that is what we are trying to create with the degree free network. We are trying to create a place where everybody can come together and share their knowledge amongst everybody.

Hannah [00:09:55]:

It is amazing how much someone else's thoughts and experience can impact your life. Because I think back to my journey and the entire thing that started me down the tech certification path was some anonymous person on Reddit making a comment that I happened to see and that changed the trajectory of my entire life. And that is why we know the power of community, the power of a group of people together can change people's lives. And that's why we started the degree free network because now everybody can get together. We're all trying to accomplish the same goal, which is we're all trying to get better jobs so that we can live the way that we want to. We are done following useless rules and what we are going to do is we're going to get together and find out what works, what is effective. Oh, what are you doing? Oh, okay, maybe I should do that. Oh, you're doing that. Maybe I'm going to try that. And having that community and that group and other people with diverse experiences and different skill sets from different parts of life and different phases of life is really going to help everybody move ahead.

Ryan [00:10:54]:

Everything that you said is the reason why degree free exists and the reason that why we have a weekly podcast and we have a TikTok and we create as much content as we do and we have a free weekly newsletter. If you want to get the newsletter, go to Degreefree Co newsletter and sign up for our newsletter there. We put out all of this content because of the story that I just told because podcasts literally change my life. And I said, okay, well maybe we can help other people and be the spark that you need in your life to get it going right. Because all of those podcasts, they definitely help and they definitely change my life, but they didn't provide any of the fuel or the energy for me to do the hard work that I did. It just says I'm not helping you do the hard work that you're doing in your life. I'm just the spark. Hannah and I are just the spark and that is exactly what we want to do. But with this network, with this community, we can actually help each other in more meaningful ways.

Hannah [00:11:59]:

Yeah, this is when once you have the spark and you start down the path and you start doing the work, inevitably you will get stuck because all of us do. And that's when having a group of people around you who are on the same page, who are trying to do the same things, using the same tactics and the same strategies to accomplish their goals, have experienced things you haven't, have seen things differently than you do and know how to get around certain roadblocks. And that is where a group and crowdsource knowledge and crowdsource advice is invaluable.

Ryan [00:12:28]:

Yeah, definitely. We wanted to create a space for anybody that's degree free to come together and help each other level up in their careers, in their life, whatever that means. So if you're listening to this and you're like, well, I don't really want to change careers, I just want to get that promotion, I just want to make more money or I want to start a side hustle, I'm not really sure if this network is going to be for me. No, it is.

Hannah [00:12:58]:

Anything you're trying to do, all of.

Ryan [00:12:59]:

Your career goals, all of your professional goals, we want to help everybody help each other achieve those goals together.

Hannah [00:13:06]:

And this is something that essentially what we're doing is ryan and I have created a place for this to happen. It already happens. It already happens on social media, it already happens on our YouTube, our TikTok, in the comments. It's amazing. And you've seen me, it's almost made me cry a few different times because people will take time out of their day and someone will say, oh, I want to do that. How do I do that? And these people will bend over backwards. I'm talking 16 comment threads giving people their email DMing and willing to get on phone calls to help people try to do what they're trying to do. And that is what is just amazing to me. About the degree free community. And that is why we're going hey, we are going to build a place for the degree free network to grow, for people to do this hard work together.

Ryan [00:13:49]:

Yeah. And one of the crucial things when you're trying to do hard things like make that career change or achieve the career success that you want is having people that share a like mind to you around you. Because I know for myself, if I had ever said that I don't want to go to college, everybody around me would have been like, you're dumb, you're stupid, you're going to be poor.

Hannah [00:14:15]:

I've had that comment on TikTok before, which is really funny. Yeah, that's a runner up, too. You're going to work for my kids.

Ryan [00:14:22]:


Hannah [00:14:23]:

My daughter's going to have a master's degree. You're going to work for her? I'm like, probably not.

Ryan [00:14:26]:

And while the person that's making that comment also has a master's degree yeah.

Hannah [00:14:30]:

Okay. That worked out so well for you.

Ryan [00:14:32]:

And so it is very helpful to be around people that share a like mind and can think of strategies the same way instead of going back and getting the same advice that you normally get, which I know everybody gets because I've gotten it myself. How do I break into this industry? Oh, well, you go to college and you get a degree in that. How do I become a journalist? Oh, well, you go and you get a communications major or you go and get an English degree, those types of things. We want to create a place where we can all come together and think about how to get to each other's goals creatively and without any gatekeeping, because there are no rules. There are no rules when it comes to your success. There are no rules when it comes to your career. You can do whatever you want, and together we'll figure it out. So if you're thinking about signing up for the degree free network, go to Degreefree Co network. Once you're there, you can start engaging in conversations, ask the questions that you need answers to, and then hopefully you can answer other people's questions because that is really where the value is going to come from. Is all of us together one? I don't know. I don't want to say hive mind because I think that's negative, right?

Hannah [00:15:49]:

Yeah, it is. Let's not say hive mind. Also just makes me think of a bunch of bees.

Ryan [00:15:53]:

But isn't that positive?

Hannah [00:15:54]:

Hive mind? No, I don't think so. Unless it's like the hive, like the Bay hive, beehive, whatever they call Beyonce's fans. Bay hive. Somebody correct us. I sound really illiterate right now. Not the hive mind, the hive mind, but rather the tales of our ancestors, the wisdom of the elders. What do they call it in Mulan? Where she's talking to the where she's talking to the elders?

Ryan [00:16:18]:

I have no idea.

Hannah [00:16:19]:

Anyway, the wisdom, the wisdom of the group.

Ryan [00:16:22]:

We are smarter together, people, obviously, because.

Hannah [00:16:25]:

It took Ryan and I both together to make that a cohesive thought.

Ryan [00:16:29]:

Yes. And if you were here, that wouldn't have went so badly.

Hannah [00:16:32]:

It wouldn't have because we would have had you. And so it would have been a group.

Ryan [00:16:35]:

And so the resources, once you are there, we have a couple of free courses that you can take already. There is more to come, more resources are in the works and on the roadmap. Trust me, we have a lot of stuff in the pipeline for you. But the first free course that you can take is going to be the Seven Day Get Hire challenge. In that challenge and in that course, it is seven days long. So you'll get drip the content over a seven day period and you will learn how to be effective in the job search and learn degree free tactics that will help you land that job that you want and how to make that career change. And how to make that job change. That course is based off of our paid video course, the Job Change Accelerator. It's a self paced course designed to help you get hired fast. If you want to learn more about that course, you can go to degreefree co Jobchange to learn more. The second course is going to be all about the five degree free pathways. And we've talked about this in a previous episode, so I will put links to that in this podcast, show notes degreefree/podcast. Or you can just go and sign up for the network and you can see what it's all about and you can just take the course for yourself. But we built the five degree free pathways. We created these. We invented these because we were always asked, what can I do other than going to college?

Hannah [00:18:03]:

And we thought it was empowering to answer anything you want. No, terrible answer. That's overwhelming to people. It is unhelpful. And we figured that out very quickly.

Ryan [00:18:12]:

It is true. You can do anything you want.

Hannah [00:18:15]:

Aside from brain surgery. There's always one.

Ryan [00:18:17]:

Yeah, right. Exactly. For the most part, most jobs you can do. So you can do 98, 99% of jobs out there if you really wanted to. You can find a way to do the other things. You might not be a doctor here, but you can go and be a doctor somewhere else. And if you really want some inspiration, you can go back and listen to I believe it was episode 63 with Drake Porter, who is a Meta product manager. At the time of that recording that episode, I've listened to it about ten times because that helps so much with the mindset of trying to be degree free and thinking of career paths in a different and creative way and how.

Hannah [00:19:02]:

To get to them. I send people to that episode constantly because it is so inspiring.

Ryan [00:19:07]:

Yeah, absolutely. And we should get Drake back on the podcast one of these days.

Hannah [00:19:10]:

We should, we should do that.

Ryan [00:19:12]:

And so when we saw people's eyes glaze over when they would ask that, we were like, okay, we need to create some sort of framework. And we've created it. And that's the five degree free pathways. And it covers everything from your first job at 16 years old, 14 and a half, or whatever it is, all the way until your last career move before you retire. It has everything. So please go and take that course if you have no idea where to start or if you know somebody that is struggling and they're like, I want to change my life, I want to change my job, but I don't know what to do. All I know is that I can't keep doing this anymore. And if you feel that way, then go and take this course because it teaches you everything that you need to know and it'll send you down one of the five pathways.

Hannah [00:20:04]:

Yeah, please take that course. Like Ryan said, send it to anybody that you think is struggling with this, especially if they're young. Right now, that's a huge thing. There's so many teenagers and parents struggling with what in the world are they going to do? And that they need to know that information to just sort out their options. Otherwise it is just really paralytic to think about all the things you can do with your life and those are.

Ryan [00:20:28]:

The resources that are up right now. But like I said, we have a lot more resources. Q and A's, career change roadmaps, all of that good stuff coming to the network really, really soon and we are excited to have you on board. And a part of the degree free community, really as part of the degree free network. Just a network of people all trying to change their lives and get better work, make more money and live the life you want.

Hannah [00:20:55]:

Yeah, we're stoked to see you in there.

Ryan [00:20:56]:

The last thing that I will say right now is, and I want to be upfront about this, is that this is an experiment.

Hannah [00:21:04]:

Yeah, we're giving this a shot and we're seeing how this works for people.

Ryan [00:21:07]:

So if this sounds good to you and you are excited, then go to Degreefree co Network and sign up and start engaging in the community. Start taking the free courses, start asking questions, start giving answers and start creating a thriving community of people. Because the more people that we have in this community, the more it's going to thrive and be a better resource for everybody else. The worst thing that could happen is that nobody signs up and then we have to shut it down after a little while. Or you do sign up and then you don't post any questions or post any answers and then we'll just have to shut it down after a while because it is going to be a lot of work. We know that. But it is the number one thing that you have requested. It has been for two years. And so we are doing this for you. It is literally free.

Hannah [00:21:57]:

Zero point.

Ryan [00:22:00]:

Yes. So please sign up Degreefree Co Network, and we are really, really excited to start helping you achieve your career goals.

Hannah [00:22:13]:

And meet you in the network.

Ryan [00:22:14]:

All right, folks, sign up for the.

Hannah [00:22:15]:

Degree Free Network and Ryan and I will see you in there.

Ryan [00:22:18]:

Yes, we will. Next week is our 100th episode.

Hannah [00:22:26]:

Someone let us have a podcast for 100 episodes.

Ryan [00:22:30]:

It's crazy.

Hannah [00:22:31]:

Can you believe that?

Ryan [00:22:32]:

Honestly, I cannot. And if you have been watching the podcast for this whole time, you have seen, like, five different studios.

Hannah [00:22:43]:

Yeah, that's true.

Ryan [00:22:46]:

And I call them studios, but, like.

Hannah [00:22:48]:

One of them was literally our living room.

Ryan [00:22:49]:

Yeah, right. Exactly. We've had five different settings, and this is two years now of us posting this podcast every single week for the Degree Free. People, for you listening to this podcast. So please, we are really excited. Go to YouTube and comment and tell us that you're excited for episode 100. I just started doing the preparation for that episode. We are going to do something very different on that episode. So for a long time time, listeners, I think that you're going to really like it because it's going to be a lot of things that we've already talked about that you know a lot of, and I think you're going to love it, and I think you're going to agree with it. And if you're new to Degree Free, that is going to be a really great episode for you to jump in to what we do and who we are and everything behind Degree Free. I'm really, really excited.

Hannah [00:23:40]:

Me too. And 100, that's a big, big number. Good job.

Ryan [00:23:44]:

Yeah, absolutely great job. To everybody listening and thank you so.

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