My Story

Justin Terry: making it happen.

When you are a Senior in college, there is always so much pressure built up around finding a job by the time you graduate. For me, I had a few offers prior to my graduation day, but these were opportunities that were not in line with my degree, nor were they appealing to my interests. So I graduated, moved back in with my parents in New Jersey, and hit the ground running with my job search.

About two months went by before I landed my first “real” job out of school. I was offered a Production Assistant position with a show on a major cable network in New York City. I was thrilled! I was able to move out of my parents’ house within the first two months of the job and at that moment felt accomplished and happy with everything that was going on.

Six months into the position, I quickly realized that TV production was not for me. From that point forward, I found myself being angry, frustrated, and in a big city, lonely and unhappy. I was living with my best friends which helped act as a buffer from a job that I did not enjoy, working in a city that was not the biggest fan of. It was time for a major life change.

Fast forward to 11 months; the show I was a production assistant on gets canceled. I am out of a job, my apartment lease is about to be up (we were not renewing), and I still felt this emptiness. I had to get out of the city and rethink everything in my life. What was making me mad? What was making me happy? Between a number of pros/cons lists and late-night discussions with my girlfriend, who at the time just graduated college a couple of months earlier, we decided to jump ship and move down to Tampa, FL. In a way, me being out of a job and my lease being up helped give me the drive in wanting to move to a new city, in a new state – what did I have to lose? Nothing.

I moved down to Tampa, FL with no job and, at the time, no place to live. A family friend came to the rescue and allowed me to stay at their guest house while I was figuring out finding a job and an apartment. My parents were not in favor of me moving down to Tampa without a job/place to live, but they knew I would make it happen for myself.

Two weeks into my time in Tampa, I meet Gary Rogers. For those of you that know Gary, you know he is always thinking of others. He is extremely selfless and will go the extra mile to help a friend out. I believe heavily in the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” By meeting Gary, I knew it was not a one-time instance, I knew we would become friends. Gary helped me nail down what it was that I wanted to go after and pursue.

After about two months in Tampa, I landed myself a job in advertising. I met great people and learned a lot, but after one full year, it was time for me to move on.

I am still living in Tampa and loving life. I have an amazing girlfriend and a little French Bulldog. I am working for an awesome company and thoroughly enjoy my job. The best part about this is I am beyond happy and so glad I was able to, in my parents’ words, “make it happen.” If you put out something in the universe, you can make it happen, no excuses. There are amazing people in this world that want to help you succeed. It all starts with being kind, showing interest, and building relationships.

My Advice

You can make it happen for yourself!

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Gary Rogers says:

Justin, wow! First of all, I’m humbled that you included me in your story! I’m glad I could help you, but even more thankful that you found an opportunity that you enjoy and wanted to share a bit of your experience with us at Check Your Game. I remember when I graduated and really had no idea what I wanted to do! I think many graduates are like this and instead of beating ourselves up, it’s okay to give grace as we’ll figure things out like you did! Thanks Justin again for sharing your story and am thankful for our friendship. I love that you are always open to make new connections, help others when needed and meet for coffee like we did recently. You are a good one Justin!

Gregg Terry says:

So proud of you Justin, you really did “make it happen”! The best part is you continue to make it happen everyday in both your personal and professional life. You have always been the center of your friend base as they rally around you, ask for your advice and take in your positive “can do” energy. You have a gift for lifting people up, you are determined and you succeed! So proud that you are my son!

Blake Southerland says:

It is neat to hear about how you did not give up but continued to make moves until you found a place that ended up working for you. Sometimes it feels like you have to find the perfect thing the first time, but it’s encouraging to see it take multiple attempts and work out! Gary definitely is a great guy!!

Caroline Jurgensen says:

Watching you “make it happen” for yourself has inspired me more than you will ever know. I am so proud of all your hard work, and it has been a pleasure watching it pay off for you. You have such a natural talent when it comes to people skills, and I think that is not only something we could all learn from you, but it is something that will be rewarding down the road. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you. 🙂