Driver Spotlight: John Donham
After 30 years of data analysis in the corporate world, capped by two straight pandemic years of working from home, John Donham felt like it was time to take a shot on a career with a better view. He had a fascination with tractor trailers for as long as he could remember and figured it was as good a time as any to take the wheel on a new challenge: professional trucking.
“One day I’m sitting at home after sitting at home for two years and thought I just can’t make another Powerpoint. I just can’t do it,” he said.
By this time in his career, John was in his early 50s with two kids in high school. He and his wife had built up enough savings to make the switch feasible without taking too much of a risk financially. For John, it was the perfect time to go all in.
“I was getting older and didn’t want to miss the opportunity, for fear that if I waited another three or four years I’d be in my upper 50s and who would want to hire me?” he said.
He enrolled in a local trucking school where he snapped a selfie in front of one of the tractor trailers and made his next professional journey “Facebook official.”
“I announced to the world, including my family who had no idea I had quit my job, and I said ‘Day one career change: truck driving school.’ I was fired up from the beginning,” he said.
John, a no-touch freight driver, went with the Monday through Friday option which allowed for weekends off and, depending on the routes in a given week, the option to sleep in his own bed an extra night or two per week.
“It was exciting from the get go. I was just so ready for it.”
Though he knew he could make a decent living in his second career, he was pleasantly surprised when he found out he’d be making well over the average salary explained to him during orientation.
“It wasn’t even close. I realized I’d be way above that figure,” he said. “Dot is very generous and I’m very thankful.”
So now that he’s got a few miles under his belt, what does John think about his shift in careers?
“You ask people how they’re doing and they sarcastically say “I’m living the dream’. But I’m actually living the dream,” he says. “The job is everything I was hoping it would be and then some.”
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