(Ep. 10) Avoiding Cubicle Life After College with Colleen Kinder

July 26, 2016

Colleen Kinder is a travel writer and photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, A Public Space, The Atlantic.com, National Geographic Traveler, Salon.com, Creative Nonfiction, and The New York Times Travel Section.

Colleen is the author of Delaying the Real World (Running Press, 2005), a book about avoiding cubicle life after college. Over 25,000 noble slackers bought this book, and Colleen loves when they write her to say, "still in Jakarta…"

In 2013, Colleen co-founded Off Assignment with Vince Errico. The idea sprang out of Pico Iyer's visit to Colleen's travel writing class at Yale. Rather than just tell her students about his essays, Pico shared what he'd left out of his essays. It was riveting. Colleen created Off Assignment as a reading series in the fall of 2013, and is currently working with Vince to make OA a non-profit and an online publication, devoted to the stories behind glossy magazine and front-page news stories.

What you'll hear in this episode:

  • What’s in the works for Colleen?
  • A platform for the untold stories
  • The birth of Off Assignment (in a Yale classroom!)
  • A song that gets Colleen going? One Shot by Eminem
  • Colleen’s morning routine: gratitudes and lists
  • Favorite motivational quotes:
    • “The way we spend our hours is the way we spend our lives.”
    • “You might not be the perfect person for the job, but there’s nobody better!”
    • “Your life only makes sense backwards.”
  • Follow your gut and launch further
  • A clear focus from a health scare
  • Biggest challenge: Crises of faith and despair
  • Believe that you’re a “bad-ass”—create an empowering identity
  • Trust the universe and your internal compass
  • Overcoming challenges means pursuing your dreams
  • Diversity and bravery
  • Do more random stuff!
  • DIFTS!
  • As the child of 2nd generation immigrants, Colleen discusses opportunities and how she grew up grounded and ambitious.
  • “The Patron Saint of Off Assignment”
  • Combining technology with “old school” tools
  • Stick around for the After Show, in which we discuss our favorite takeaways from the show, including experience, comparison, and pursuing your passion.

Links and Resources:

Mentioned Book:
Delaying the Real World by Colleen Kinder

Connect with Colleen: