Before setting up his new business, Peter Yang made a point of bothering everyo…
Before setting up his new business, Peter Yang made a point of bothering everyone he sat next to on his 75-minute commute to work. “I’d just ask whoever happened to be sitting next to me if they ever thought of paying someone to write their resume for them,” he says. “A lot of people didn’t have a great grasp of how to optimize them, so it seemed promising.” Yang, is now the co-founder of ResumeGo, a CV writing company that he started in 2015. He says that if it wasn’t for his long journey from his home in New Jersey to his then full-time job in New York, it would have taken far longer for the business to get off the ground.
For nearly a year, Yang would either talk to people on his train about his business, think about how to create his company or chat with his future business partner over the phone – who was also commuting at the same time, but on a different train. “The commute helped me to dedicate a certain chunk of my day to working on the business,” he says.
Most of us are probably not as productive as Yang on the way to work, but we may want to make better use of our time. In America, the average commute is 26.4 minutes, up 21% from 1980, while commuters in London and Manchester spend about 85 minutes a day getting to and from work. The rising cost of living in major cities like New York, London and Beĳ ing has forced many people out into the surrounding areas, giving them little choice but to commute long distances to the office each day. In Beĳing the average commute is about an hour.
Rather than staring at our phones, we could use that time to upgrade our skills, start new companies, learn new languages and more. That’s precisely what Mark Smith did on his hour-long journey from Haddenhan in Buckinghamshire to London, where he worked in the Department of Transport.
For years, Smith would pass the time by reading but, one day in 2001, rather than picking up another page turner, he bought a book on HTML — a computer language that’s used to create websites. It took him two days of commuting to ﬁnish the book, after which he built a one-page website, explaining how to get from London to various European cities by train. It’s a subject he’s passionate about — he loves to travel, but says there was a lack of information on train travel between England and Europe. When the Guardian newspaper named his site the best travel site of the week in May 2001, he knew he was onto something.
A few months later, Smith purchased a laptop and began building more pages during his commute. In time, he stared earning a decent income from the site and in 2007 he quit his job to run it full-time.
It’s one thing to want to be productive but it’s another to get meaningful work done. Smith, though, had no trouble. Despite sharing personal space with strangers, there were fewer interruptions than at his office and no one was calling him to talk, he says. He does add, though, that a 30-minute trip wouldn’t have been enough — he needed the full hour.
To make the most out of your commute, you should do two things: plan and be realistic. Those who think about exactly what they want to accomplish can focus better than those who don’t have an idea of what they want to do. It’s also important to be realistic about your time and your environment, she says. If you need to concentrate, the busy morning commute may not be the best place to do that kind of work. If you get a comfortable seat on the train, though, and know you can spend 40 minutes writing a chapter of a book, then it can be a good way to get extra work in.
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According to Peter Yang, he managed to organize a CV writing company because ...
- he wanted to quit his full-time job in New York.
- his co-founder helped him.
- he had to spend 75 minutes to commute to work.
- he thought of paying someone to write his resume for him.
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