Wanderlust and living a life you love with Morgan MacDermaid


Morgan MacDermaid used to spend hours in the travel section of the library, looking at all the places she could go. In college, she had her first chance to board a plane and her study abroad in Italy changed the course of her life. 

After graduation, she traded the possibility of a corporate cubicle for adventure. Morgan has traveled to over 40 countries around the world, slept in a tent across Alaska and moved to St. Thomas when she only knew a single person on the island.

a strong desire to travel

When the pandemic hit, her world was turned upside down. She came back to Michigan for a stint, bought a car and set off to drive across the United States before leveraging her global experiences to land a jobs as a logistics coordinator and recruiter in Tennessee. 

For the first time, she shares the full story of how she went from neuroscience major to fashionista and global nomad, and the rejections that led her to her new career as a recruiter. 

Get career advice and the transcript to this episode as a Patron

If you enjoyed this episode, check out Patreon to get workbooks, resources and transcripts



Setting boundaries and achieving life-work balance with Lily Allen-Dueñas

Lily Allen-Dueñas serves as the interim executive director of the The State of Women Institute and a holistic health and wellness coach, yoga teacher and meditation instructor. She’s also a master at setting boundaries and life-work balance. 

In this episode, Lily and I talk about the importance of prioritizing your life before work, strategies for achieving life-work balance, and how to set boundaries at work to prevent burnout. 

Want more advice on being ambitious, brave and curious in your career?

Join us on Patreon for special patron-only benefits. 

This month, patrons receive worksheets that help them with self-reflection and identifying their workplace values. You can join for as little as $1 a month.   

Become a Patron! 

Learn more about the initiatives Lily discussed

Amplifying Her Voice: From climate change to self care, racism to financial literacy, the “In Moms We Trust” summit covers a broad range of topic. Sessions also feature women in the space industry, blockchain, podcasting and more. I’ll be on a panel on May 12 called “All Kinds of Coaching & What Makes This Career So Fulfilling.” Register for the Summit, which takes place May 11-13. 

SHEQONOMI: SHEQONOMI is a podcast platform built by millennial women to serve 2 billion women globally, where content creation and listening are rewarded. 

Wild Yoga Tribe: If you’re interested in yoga and meditation with Lily, check out Wild Yoga Tribe and learn about her online classes.


Setting yourself up for success in a new job with Olivia Adams

Setting yourself up for success in a new job with Olivia Adams

In Venturesome’s first-ever duo episode, Olivia Adams joins me for a conversation about being successful in a new gig — whether it’s an internship or a full-time job. Through our conversation, you’ll hear our tips and tricks for standing out the first few days, weeks and months.

Also, if you’re interested in the Brené Brown episode referenced during our conversation, you can listen on her website or find it on Spotify. The episode is #1 on Unlocking Us and it’s titled Brené on FFTs.

Rachel and Olivia painting at a Wine and Canvas event in 2017A bit of background: Olivia and I first met through Twitter and our friendship is a great example of how you can go from social media connections to friends to colleagues to confidants. Olivia also hand-lettered “Venturesome” for the podcast! On the day we recorded this episode, I was offered a new job and have since started in my new role. 

Want more advice on being ambitious, brave and curious in your career?

Join us on Patreon for special patron-only benefits. 

Become a Patron! 

I’d also encourage you to join our Facebook Group, which is a safe place to talk about the challenges and triumphs in our careers. 

Workplace Trauma & Working Through Fear with Dr. Tega Edwin, @HerCareerDoctor

Workplace Trauma & Working Through Fear with Dr. Tega Edwin, @HerCareerDoctor

Dr. Tega EdwinDr. Tega Edwin, also known on social media as @HerCareerDoctor, helps women who are unhappy at work get clarity about who they are so they can find a satisfying, fulfilling career. 

In our interview we talk about coping with workplace trauma and toxic stress, and working through fear. She also talks about how the collective trauma of the pandemic and the racial unrest of 2020 are affecting people emotionally, especially people of color. 

The Devil You Know

Dr. Edwin often hears people say “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know” when it comes to work. 

Tweet screenshot from @HerCareerDoctor: Too many women underestimate the impact previous work trauma has on their decisions to stay in an unfulfilling career that's currently making them unhappy.

The devil you know is still a devil, she says. 

I loved this phrase because so often we are paralyzed from making a change in life because we’re comfortable. And, we’re afraid that by making a change that we’ll make things worse. 

Years ago, one of mine was a job. I was extremely comfortable at Central Michigan University. I had built strong relationships and was proud to work at my alma mater. However, as I began to burn out from the high turnover on our team and the always-on nature of being a social media manager, I started to consider how the pain of staying might be worse than the discomfort of taking a risk and leaving. 

Three months after my realization, I had a job offer in hand that would require me to move to start a role at a private university. It was scary for a lot of reasons. I had to build trust and credibility with new people and learn the differences between public and private universities. I even had to rent an apartment while my husband stayed in our home as we prepared to sell it.  

Your devil might be staying in your hometown. It might be a job that no longer fits you. It could be your boss, who isn’t ideal but you have worked with long enough to predict their needs. It could be a relationship that is no longer supportive. What are some of your devils? What are the fears that are holding you back? 

Connect with Her Career Doctor

The heart of being a venturesome professional is taking risks, even when it’s hard. Dr. Edwin offers inspiring, though-provoking content on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @hercareerdoctor. 

I’d also encourage you to check out her Fulfilling Career Guideand, if you’re seeking clarity on finding a career that fulfills you, check out her six-week small group coaching program


Women in the workforce

Central Michigan University’s College of the Arts & Media recently interviewed Venturesome’s host, Rachel Esterline Perkins, about her perspectives on public relations, her time at CMU and her experiences as a woman in the workforce. 

With permission from CMU CAM and interviewer Sarah Grandstaff, this interview has been shared as Episode 5 of the Venturesome Podcast. 



You can also watch the interview on YouTube:



Other interviews included:

  • Julia Sikora, a Traffic Producer/Reporter for the WWJ 24-Hour Traffic Center in Detroit
  • Sarah Opperman, retired VP of Public Affairs for Dow Chemical and a former chair of the CMU board of trustees
  • Sara Ketchum, line producer at CNN
  • Claire-Francis Sullivan, a New York City-based performer, playwright, and composer-lyricist
Discovering What Drives Your Best Work | Todd Henry and The Motivation Code

Discovering What Drives Your Best Work with Todd Henry

Todd Henry is the author of The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, Louder than Words: Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice, and — most recently — The Motivation Code: Discover the Hidden Forces That Drive Your Best Work

The Motivation Code assessment helps you learn about your top motivational themes. Understanding what drives is critical to making better decisions about your career path and performing better at your current job.

Listen to the episode to hear Todd’s insights and get a preview into the book: 

Find out your motivational themes

The Motivation Code assessment helps you learn about what truly drives you at work and how you can ensure your career is more fulfilling.

You can take the full assessment at motivationcode.com. There’s also a free version of the assessment that gives you your top three themes at motivationcode.com/free.

A reflection on my own motivations

I took the Motivation Code assessment at the end of October and then read the book. I learned both about myself and what drives me, as well as what likely drives my colleagues. Sometimes when reading about the book, I would think “I know exactly who fits this theme!”

My top three were: 

  1. Experience the Ideal
  2. Develop
  3. Achieve Potential

By far, my highest score was “Experience the Ideal.” This theme is all about the process of transforming intangible, abstract concepts into a concrete expression. The theme truly fits my motivations and how the communications field has been a great fit for me. I thrive when given the challenge of making abstract, ambiguous information flow into a strategic, effective product.  

“Develop” and “Achieve Potential” were close behind.

“Develop” is described as satisfaction coming from “seeing how the finished product or result reflects all the steps, techniques, and procedures that brought it to its final form.” This can be with a project or even the development of talent — which is strongly reflected in my mentorship of students and your professionals. One of my favorite things is working with a talented young professional and helping them grow their skills. (Shout out to my former interns!)

I’ve always been a high-achiever, and I wasn’t surprised to see “Achieve Potential” at the top of my results. However, this theme goes so much deeper than personal achievement. In the description of the theme, this motivation code says, “Hidden, undeveloped, or unnoticed resources or possibilities are what interest you.” I always love investigating possibilities, whether I’m finding new stories to tell or trying out new tools. 

The Motivation Code nailed my top themes and the report provided valuable insights I plan to apply, including an understanding of the “shadow side” of my top motivators. 

Why low scores aren’t weaknesses or failures

It was fascinating to look at the themes that ranked at the bottom of my Motivation Code. If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, these are NOT weaknesses.

My initial response at my bottom two — “Collaborate” and “Serve” — was to feel inadequate. Does this make me a horrible coworker? Am I selfish? 

In talking to Todd and reading the book, I know that is not the case. The scores on the 27 themes measure what motivates me, not who I am or where I’m deficient.

For example, I scored very low on “Collaborate.” I’ve never been motivated by group projects (as my former professors can attest to), but I don’t mind collaborating on projects. It’s just not as exciting to me as the opportunity to develop new projects and processes or discover new ways to transform ideas or help. Looking back, I’ve previously found ways to incorporate my motivational themes in collaborative projects by facilitating brainstorming sessions or offering to take the lead on organizing ideas and plans. 

Bravely sharing my personal results

It’s a bit scary to lay it all out there for everyone to see, but I wanted to share a screenshot of my personal Motivation Code results below. 

Motivation Code Ranking

Listen to Venturesome for more conversations like this 

And because this is a new podcast, please take a moment to leave a review after this episode or leave a comment on this blog post about your thoughts about The Motivation Code. 


*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


Melanie Spring - Venturesome Podcast

Personal Branding & Storytelling with Melanie Spring, the Approachable Bad Ass

Melanie SpringMelanie Spring branded herself as the “approachable bad ass” following a survey she sent to hundreds of connections that sought feedback on how they perceived her.

Melanie is an internationally renowned keynote speaker and coach who helps people with public speaking, pitching and personal brand development

In this episode, I talked to Melanie about using feedback from others to build and strengthen your personal brand and how to tell your own story.  

Unforgettably fearless

Inspired by Melanie’s story, I asked my LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends and Twitter followers to describe me in one to five words via SurveyMonkey.

Words that were repeatedly used to describe me were:

  • Ambitious
  • Intelligent
  • Driven
  • Confident
  • Creative
  • Fearless
  • Tenacious
  • Mentor  


Some words related to roles I play on a team or in a group (advocate, leader, learner, mentor, risk-taker). Others described my personality traits (assertive, dedicated, inquisitive, loyal, opinionated, no-nonsense, outgoing, passionate, talkative, caring, compassionate). 

Many also described my work- and mentorship-styles (efficient, encouraging, goals, hard-working, innovative, organized, results, results, strategic) and how I use my voice or take action (authentic, bold, brave, fierce/fiery). The final bucket related to my mind and degrees (educated, smart, talented). 

My favorite word someone used to describe me: Unforgettable.

I think if I were to use these results to develop my own brand like Melanie, maybe I’d describe myself as unforgettably fearless. I strive to be fiercely brave, ambitious and curious. 

This was a fun exercise and one I definitely recommend. I used Survey Monkey and asked only: “What two to five words describe Rachel Esterline Perkins?” I shared it on social media a few times and tallied the words. I used wordclouds.com to visualize them together. If you decide to try this, I’d love to hear about what you learn! 

 “You’re welcome”

In this episode, Melanie talks about changing your attitude when you walk into the room to be more confident and unapologetically you. She also shares perspectives for embracing who you are if you feel like you’re “too much” or “not enough.” (This is for all of us who’ve been told we’re too bossy, too ambitious, etc.). And if you’re feeling awkward in this WFH world, check out her free training “ How to: Not Be Weird on Zoom.” 

The Smile File

Melanie encourages listeners to to capture their career success stories to use later on in interviews or when asking for a raise. I like to call this the “Smile File.” This was something my friend, Brooke, shared with me years ago and it’s where I save screenshots of emails congratulating on a job well done, positive feedback from clients or even sweet notes from former students. 

Everything you want is on the other side of no

Melanie talked about manifesting. But it’s not magic. She is about being clear and intentional about what you want, making a plan and then working toward that goal every single day. Melanie is currently offering her “Manifest Your Life” program for $20. 

Free resources for personal branding

I’m putting together some free resources on personal branding and storytelling. Sign up to be the first to receive the free workbook

Listen to Venturesome for the full conversation 

And because this is a new podcast, please take a moment to leave a review after the episode if you enjoyed this episode about your career in your twenties. 

If you just joined us, listen to our first two episodes Gone Girl: Questions To Ask Before Leaving Your Job with Beth Bryce of Daring Circle Ranch and The Rocket Years with Elizabeth Segran

I also want to personally thank Jacqueline, a listener who shared her feedback and inspired me to finally edit this episode. I was in a bit of a rut and knowing that there was someone out there who wanted to hear more helped motivate me to get this episode out. Thank you, Jacqueline! 



The Rocket Years: Your Career in Your Twenties with Elizabeth Segran

The Rocket Years with Elizabeth Segran

Elizabeth Segran, author of The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Launch The Rest of Your LifeThe actions you take in your twenties — in your career, relationships, health and more — can set the trajectory for the rest of your life. 

Fast Company senior writer Elizabeth Segran describes your twenties as a rocket. If you adjust only a few degrees when you launch, it can completely change where you land. 

Elizabeth’s book, The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Launch The Rest of Your Life*, reviews eight areas of your life you can focus on developing in your twenties to thrive in the rest of your life. These areas are: 

  1. Career
  2. Hobbies
  3. Fitness
  4. Marriage
  5. Family
  6. Friendship
  7. Politics
  8. Faith

In this episode, I talk to Elizabeth primarily about your career in your twenties, as well as hobbies and politics. However, all of these areas are important to your well-being, success and happiness. 

Setting the trajectory of your career in your twenties

Do dream jobs exist? Elizabeth makes a great point in her book about the high expectations we have for our careers: When your first start out, your career ambitions are theoretical. You don’t yet have the experience to know if you like a job in practice. Internships, jobs and hands-on experiences can serve as a roadmap for your future. 

When I graduated from college, I wanted to work at a PR agency. Yet, I didn’t really like my first job at an agency (and it took me months to admit it). The work, which focused on business-to-business communications and marketing, wasn’t satisfying or enjoyable. 

However, that first job helped set the trajectory for the first decade of my career and gave me a lot of valuable skills in writing, editing, emotional intelligence and project management. Looking back, many of my early career experiences helped get me where I am today. 

If you enjoyed that video, you can find more on the Rocket Years website

Adjusting your course as a twenty- or thirty-something

Elizabeth says in her book, “People who thrive simply refuse to accept situations that make them miserable: they choose to keep learning, growing, and working toward happiness all their lives.”

This is a really important point, especially in your twenties and thirties. Curiosity keeps you on the path of growth. If you’re not thriving in a job or a relationship, then adjust course. While change can be scary, it also can be empowering. 

You don’t have to make an abrupt change. If you’re not happy in a job, call up a trusted mentor who can talk you through the challenges you’re experiencing. They can give you fresh insights and advice. If you’re feeling burned out in your job, look at developing other areas such as hobbies, faith or friendships.   

Building momentum and advancing your career

As you build momentum in your career in your twenties and thirties, remember to have balance. Broadening your perspectives through a new hobby or your faith can help you be more creative and energized when you work. 

And while you’re advancing your career, remember to help those following in your footsteps. Mentorship is incredibly important to me. I often speak to classes at CMU and other universities and I serve as the professional advisor for MSU PRSSA. 

Explore where you’ve landed

Your twenties can’t be all work and no play. Elizabeth shares why areas like hobbies, fitness, faith and politics can be important areas of focus.

A few things I’ve tried in my twenties and thirties:

  • Watercolor painting. In the past year, I’ve taken up painting with the help of Let’s Make Art — which provides outlines and YouTube videos you can use for free (or you can order kits that come with the paints too, which is how I started). I honestly don’t feel like I’m very good at it. But, it’s also nice to have a creative outlet where I don’t have to be perfect. 
  • Dog agility. Years ago, I took an eight-week agility course with Scout, my German Shepherd. In addition to being a workout, it was a great activity to help me strengthen my relationship with my dog as well. I recently adopted a puppy from the shelter and spending time training her is an enjoyable outlet.
  • Barre. Fresh out of college, I took my first barre class. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d ever go back. It was incredibly hard. I kept at it though and it eventually became a favorite workout that I crave. 
  • Photography. I love capturing photos of animals and I’ve volunteered at local shelters and rescues to capture portraits to help make pets more adoptable. I also showed horses for over 10 years as a child and teen, so I occasionally take photos of horses for friends. I also love capturing Pure Michigan landscapes, such as lighthouses, lakes and sunsets. I’m always proud when I look at the canvases I’ve printed for my walls. 

I’d love to hear about your career, hobbies and side gigs. Email venturesomepodcast@gmail.com to share your story. 

Listen to Venturesome for the full conversation 

And because this is a new podcast, please take a moment to leave a review after the episode if you enjoyed this episode about your career in your twenties. 

If you just joined us, listen to our first episode “Gone Girl: Questions To Ask Before Leaving Your Job with Beth Bryce of Daring Circle Ranch.”


*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Gone Girl: Questions To Ask Before Leaving Your Job with Beth Bryce, founder of Daring Circle Ranch

Gone Girl: Questions To Ask Before Leaving Your Job with Beth Bryce of Daring Circle Ranch

My first episode features Beth Bryce. Beth is a career strategist, transformation catalyst and founder of the Daring Circle Ranch

Beth helps people break out of toxic, unhealthy jobs and find the motivation and path to careers that bring them joy and passion. And she has coached thousands through career and life transitions. 

In this interview, Beth shares her own journey and shares her insights on when you should leave a “dream” when it no longer fits who you are — whether it’s a job or something else. 

Beth also offers a free e-book on her website on 50 ways you can spark your life revolution.

Is it time to leave your job? 

Beth walked us through five critical questions to ask yourself when you’re wondering if your current job is the right fit. In summary, she recommends asking:

  1. Does this job allow me to work with people I respect who share my values?
  2. Does this job provide opportunities for growth that stretch and challenge me?
  3. Does this job set me up to launch into future positions that advance my career?
  4. Does this job compensate me fairly? 
  5. Does this job fill my heart and feed my soul in meaningful ways?

How to answer the salary question

As part of our discussion, we talked money. When asked “What salary are you looking for?” Beth recommends this succinct answer delivered with a smile: 

“Based on my education, experience and skills, I am sure you will give me a fair offer. What is the range of the position?”

Listen to Venturesome for the full conversation 

And because this is a brand new podcast, please take a moment to leave a review after the episode. 


I’d rather take action and fail than to take no action at all. I’d rather be decisive and make the wrong decision than to procrastinate. I’d rather ask the question and receive a no than to stay silent.

Before we jump into our first season, I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Rachel Esterline Perkins and I’m the host of the Venturesome Podcast. 

Through my experiences in the workplace and as a mentor, I’ve seen that we don’t talk enough about certain challenges and expectations in the workplace. While students and young professionals are graduating armed with theories and case studies, they rarely learn how to negotiate a salary or advocate for themselves at work. As professionals, we also don’t have enough candid conversations about imposter syndrome, burnout and bouncing back from big mistakes. 

I was recently speaking to a group of Central Michigan University students and was asked about how I push through uncertainty and the possibility of failure. Afterward I was thinking about it more. It’s not because I have no fear of failure. I experience imposter syndrome and anxiety like many other person. I’m not immune to criticism or negative thoughts. 

But I choose to move forward anyway. I’d rather take action and fail than to take no action at all. I’d rather be decisive and make the wrong decision than to procrastinate. I’d rather ask the question and receive a no than to stay silent. 

Being venturesome means being willing to take risks. It means taking the road that’s sometimes a little bit tougher to travel. 

Through this career podcast, I’ll share my experiences and the perspectives of my guests on strategies you can use to get a step ahead in your career. 

To give you some background, I’m a first generation college grad with a bachelor’s in public relations and a master’s in higher education administration. I started my career at a marketing agency and then spent six years in nonprofit and higher ed. I’m currently working in advocacy communications at an agency. 

Over the years I’ve hired and mentored over 30 interns and I’ve had countless conversations with students and other professionals who’ve asked for feedback and coaching to help them address conflicts in their current roles or to help them position themselves for their next jobs. 

Our conversations hit on three pillars: 

  1. Ambition
  2. Bravery
  3. Curiosity

These are the three pillars of this podcast. 

I will bring you guests who will inspire you to have the determination to succeed, to give you the strength to endure through uncertainty and failure, and to fuel your curiosity. 

Venturesome – A Career Podcast

I hope you’ll join me for episodes here and that you’ll check my website, venturesomepod.com, for blog posts and other resources. 

You also can find this career podcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and you can email me at venturesomepodcast@gmail.com.