Excelling In Your True Career Calling Later in Life: How He Did It 

Credit: Edwin Orlando Pabon

There has been many personal and professional plusses and negatives since COVID entered our daily lives earlier this year. Millions have been challenged to think outside of the box in order to stay afloat in this new normal kind of existence we are in as this pandemic rages on with no end in sight. 

A positive that COVID has inspired revolves around the world of changing careers. The amount of time we’ve spent inside over the past several months has caused some of us to think about switching things up especially if you have a desire to finally work in your dream industry or leave a job that you feel you’ve hit a wall at.

Top men’s groomer Edwin Orlando Pabon is a fabulous example of someone who did this pre-COVID and has managed to not only survive but thrive while doing so in the months since. He’s a great inspiration of finding success later in life in whatever industry you think is your true calling and is proof that it’s never to late to explore this kind of thing regardless of where you’re at professionally.

The New York native (who floored me when he told me his age as I thought he was in his 30’s) grew up in the restaurant industry where his mother and father helped him learn about the financial side of the business starting at the age of 7.  

Years later he became a cherished photographer and celebrity stylist where his daily work involved shooting very sexy men. Some of his style clients included internationally-known names like Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss and the late Amy Winehouse.

Although he enjoyed what he was doing there was something aching in him to finally explore his passion in men’s grooming.

So that metaphoric wall he hit was something he was able to bulldoze through by doing a 180 and beginning his new life of expertly cutting people’s hair and making them look absolutely fantastic in the process.

There were hurdles though that made this transition difficult, especially during this past year that was pretty much defined by one thing. The salon he works at, Tuft (formerly known as Freemans) suffered a massive blow when its owner Miles Martinez contracted COVID-19.

This wasn’t just one of those COVID cases that came and went. It was much, much worse for the 34-year-old as he spent 17 days in a coma and lost a whopping 40 pounds. Tuft temporarily closed as a result however Edwin was able to remain active in the position he loved outside of the shop that he called home.

Edwin made his way to Fire Island this past summer where he helped keep its residents looking fly as hell with his haircuts that were done in a safe and effective manner. Photos and videos he posted from his time in the Pines showcase the lengths he went to in order for each customer to feel secure in him doing his thing where the results always looked incredible.

Months later and Miles eventually recovered from his COVID hell and Tuft opened up again. I stopped by for my own personal haircutting experience with Edwin last month where his passion for what he did not to mention how great he made he look as a result came through in a really amazing way. 

He’s still doing the photography thing amid his grooming business continually booming. The gritty street background of Tuft, for example, provides a great opportunity for him to take pics of his clients after he’s done grooming them to perfection. 

“Edwin cares and he has a great eye, chalk it up to being a great photographer,” longtime friend Matt Belvedere gushed. “He knows that details matter. It’s as simple as that.”

“When I started seeing him my hair had some issues (too short, bad fades, thinning hair) and needed some TLC,” he continued. “He changed the way I viewed my fade and how my hair should lay. After a few cuts my hair has never looked better. He also takes COVID serious as does Tuft. And his latest haircut did in fact get me laid as his Instagram tag line said.”

The moral to Edwin’s story is simple. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s up to you though to find whatever that is and make it happen. 

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