I Found a Great Job That Utilizes My Creative Background

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on November 27, 2023

Photo of Success Story, Ukuu Oden

Ukuu Oden is a man of many talents. He’s a voice actor, professional painter, well-versed in screen-printing, he has his own podcast—he can do a lot.

For most of his life, that’s how he made a living.  But after a chain of unfortunate events, Ukuu had to look for a “regular” job in order to make ends meet.

We’ll let Ukuu share his story.

I got into voice acting because people have always told me I have a great speaking voice. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of commercial radio and before COVID, I worked on a radio show. I also sell my paintings and dabble in other projects.

But I reached a point where I wanted to make money that didn’t come from my art, to free up my creative process. And then some bad luck forced me to look for a traditional job sooner than I expected: I was supposed to go on a trip and the funding fell through, I got into a car accident, and then my landlord increased my rent.

So I searched ‘temp agency’ and that’s how I got in touch with Brenda at TERRA’s Seattle office, who told me they might have something I’d be interested in—a screen making job with a company that makes engineering materials. Screen printing is one of my many passions so of course I was interested, and Brenda set me up with an interview!

The company had a great vibe. It’s like the UN in there; very diverse. There are people with different cultures and complexions, and a guy who wears a pirate hat. I also noticed they had a Heidelberg printer! I was so excited, I took a pic and sent it to my printing friends, who all geeked out on the machine.

And I could tell this company values their people. A few employees told me things like, “I’ve been here for 20 years,” “17 years,” “over 10 years,” and I thought that was a good sign. I was sold, I wanted this job.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait long to hear their decision. After the interview, Brenda called to tell me they were interested in moving forward with an offer! I was almost in tears, I was so grateful.

Since I’ve started working here, things have been great. I really like reclaiming screens and watching something go from Point A to Point H.

There’s also a level of teamwork that’s built into the role because everyone’s job is integral to the whole process. If you do your job well, that won’t create more work for the next person.

Plus, I’m exercising, I’m feeling productive and I’m making money. My daughter is applying to colleges, and I surprised her with flowers, which is something I can do now that I have more financial freedom.

So, if you’re in my position—a creative needing some income—here’s my advice: If you’re creating with the intent to make money, you can compartmentalize those things. Don’t feel like you have to compromise your artistic spirit to survive. There are alternatives. It’s about prioritizing your free time so that you can create without fear.

Congratulations, Ukuu! We’re so glad we could help you find a job that provides financial stability, more artistic freedom, and allows you the opportunity to use your creative skills.

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Categories: Success Stories

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