A few weeks ago, Kate wrote this super interesting blog post detailing some of the jobs she’s had in her life. I loved it so much that I decided to steal her idea. This blog post is long, but hopefully it’s an interesting look at all of the different jobs I’ve had over the course of my life. Enjoy!
The summer after fifth grade, my grandma decided to hire me as a baby-sitter for my twin cousins who were four and her next door neighbor’s granddaughter, who was a few years younger than me. It wasn’t baby-sitting in the real sense of the word because my grandma was always there, but she just wanted me to hang out with them and keep them out of trouble and she’d pay me. Fine by me!
Unfortunately, this arrangement didn’t last very long because, well, I kinda just wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to hang out with three kids with tons of energy every day during the summer. I wanted to read! And write silly stories! So I just stopped hanging out with them and thus, the baby-sitting money dried up.
When I was twelve, my brother and I helped out at the daycare where my mom worked, cleaning toys and chairs. I suspect it was my mom’s way of keeping us from spending the entire summer inside, but we got paid and it was a fun little gig! I can’t remember how long we did it, but it definitely wasn’t very long. We started washing all of the toys in the center and then moved on to washing all of the chairs with bleach. An odd little job, for sure, but I remember having the time of my life working side-by-side with my brother.
Associate at Panera Bread
I was in 10th grade when I applied for a job at Panera Bread, and I was thrilled to be hired! My brother had started working at 15 and I was feeling a little self-conscious about not having a high school job. I attended a training in Tampa and I came home bursting with all sorts of facts about Panera that I’m sure my mom was oh-so-interested to hear.
And then I started working. And it did not live up to my expectations. For one thing, I was only scheduled to work on Saturday and Sunday evenings for a couple of hours. For another, I was basically a glorified dishwasher. I simply spent my time at work cleaning off tables, washing the dishes, and making sure the coffee was always fresh. I also had to sweep and mop the entire dining room on those nights, which was not an enjoyable job in the least. Every now and then, they’d schedule me to work at the register, but I was really not good at it because I couldn’t understand their menu system. This all sounds very whiny, I know, but I was sixteen and it was essentially my first job. I am allowed to be a little whiny, ya know?
Anyway, this job didn’t last very long. Maybe only a few months, until they told me that they no longer needed me anymore. I can’t say I was upset. Nope – I was super relieved and walked out of there with a spring in my step.
Associate at Aeropostale
I worked at this short-lived job the summer after 10th grade. How short lived? One freaking day. This was such a weird situation because the store went through all this trouble to hire and train summer workers (there were around five of us in the training), but then decided they didn’t need any of us. I felt completely out of place at this job, though, so I wasn’t too mad about it.
Concessions Associate at a Movie Theater
I worked at my local movie theater the summer before I went off to college, and I loved it. I worked with a great group of young people (high schoolers and college kids) and we always had a blast, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the movie theater was packed.
For the majority of my time at the movie theater, I worked in the concessions, which involved a lot of scooping popcorn, pouring drinks, and dealing with customers who were trying their best to earn that free movie ticket if I didn’t ask them if they wanted to try a combo. (True story.) Every now and then, I’d get to work in the box office, which was honestly my favorite because if I worked there on a slow weekday afternoon, it meant I could kick back and read a book – and get paid for it. Sounds like the perfect deal to me!
I stopped working at this job right before I left home to attend college. I thought about transferring to the movie theater near my college, but since I didn’t have a car, transportation would have been tricky. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted!
Book Hustler at the Campus Bookstore
During my freshman year of college, I spent a few months working in the campus bookstore, in the textbooks. This was a time in my life where I was depressed and I needed something to do that wasn’t going to class or being alone in my dorm room, so I got a job working at the bookstore during their busy season (the end of fall semester/the beginning of spring semester). My first job was working in the buyback program, scanning the textbooks that students brought in and telling them how little they were going to get back. (Not the most fun job, that’s for sure.) Then, during the beginning of the spring semester, I helped students find the books they needed for their classes when they came into the bookstore, as well as packaged up books for students who placed online orders.
I really, really enjoyed this job and had a blast during the few weeks I got to work here. It got me out of my dorm room, too, which is exactly what I needed at this time. I wish it could have lasted longer, though. (I was really hoping I would be hired to work in the actual bookstore, but it wasn’t to be.)
Infant Teacher at a Daycare
The summer after my freshman year of college, I strolled into a daycare center, intent on applying to become an aftercare teacher for elementary-aged kids. At this point in my life, I was studying to become an elementary school teacher and a lot of my peers in my classes worked in these types of aftercare programs. Unfortunately, this daycare center did not have such a program, but they did have an opening for an infant teacher. I decided to apply because hey, I needed a job. I was hired.
I spent this summer working full-time with infants and it was the best birth control I could have possibly asked for. Ha. But I loved those babies so much, and still remember each of their birthdays. As an infant teacher, my days involved changing diapers, feeding them, playing with them, taking them in short strolls around the yard, and rocking them to sleep. It wasn’t a bad job, but it was also pretty boring, and I didn’t always love the teachers they placed in my room.
Once the summer was up, I needed more flexibility with my school schedule, especially once I started interning at elementary schools for my teaching degree. My boss tried to work with me, but it just became too difficult to accommodate my crazy schedule, so I had to let the job go.
Office Assistant at a Printing Company
My mom was friends with the wife of the owner of this printing company, so she got me the job as glorified office assistant for the summer after my sophomore year of college. My main job was to answer the phones, sign for packages, and do the invoices, all of which took approximately 5% of my workday. Every now and then, they would let me run a printing job, which was always fun. I wish I got to do more of that!
The printing company was tiny, as the only employees were the two owners, an older gentleman who ran the printing presses, and me. For the majority of the time, I was alone in the office. There was a TV right next to my desk, and I was told I could watch whatever I wanted, so I just tuned it so I could watch The Price is Right and sitcoms like Reba and George Lopez. They also didn’t care if I fooled around online, so honestly, I got paid to watch TV and fill out surveys on Xanga. Tough life.
“Floating” Teacher at a Daycare
Another daycare! What am I even thinking? Well, I’m thinking that I have experience in a daycare setting and I like that working in a daycare keeps my weekends free. I started this job at the beginning of 2009, which would technically be my junior year of college, but since I changed degrees, I wouldn’t end up graduating college until 2011. But anyway, I started this job and I was basically deemed a “floater,” which meant I would be placed in whatever room needed a teacher.
So, one week I might be in the infant class, the next week the two-year-old class, and the following week working with the pre-k kids. Daycare centers have a pretty crazy turnover rate with teachers (it’s a tough job!) and each class always has to maintain the proper ratio of children to teachers, so I basically just jumped into a room whenever they needed an extra pair of hands to maintain that ratio. I’d also help out with making breakfast and lunch and distributing it around to the different classrooms, and giving bathroom breaks to the teachers. (Man, once I started a “normal” job and realized I could go the bathroom whenever I wanted… my life changed.)
I worked this job all the way until I graduated college, and near the end of my schooling, I had to drop down to just working a few hours in the morning and I am so grateful that my boss was able to accommodate my schedule.
My first post-grad job was working as a marketing assistant for a direct marketing company, a job I worked at for two years from 2011 to 2013. I was so excited to get hired so quickly out of college that I didn’t even balk at the starting salary (brace yourselves… $25,000 before taxes).
My boss managed the intense marketing campaigns for the different promotions we ran throughout the year, and she was so overwhelmed with work that she needed an assistant to help with the more mundane administrative tasks. So my job involved stuff like filing, creating promo codes for the different ads we ran, and editing ads. Gradually, I was given more and more responsibility as I grew in my position, and truly became more of a marketing data analyst than a marketing assistant. A good chunk of my workload involved data analysis.
I started looking for a new job just a year after being with this company because I wasn’t happy. One of the biggest reasons for my unhappiness was that I never really had enough work to keep me busy, so I was bored a lot. Other reasons for my unhappiness was the fact that my salary wasn’t proportional to the tasks I was doing, and I knew I’d never get the raise I deserved. But I think the biggest reason I started looking for a new job so soon after starting this one was the fact that I didn’t want to do data analysis as a full-time job. It wasn’t a passion of mine.
SEO Content Writer
And now we’ve come to the end (nearly 2,000 words later, eeks!). I started working as an SEO content writer for an Internet marketing agency in 2013 and I have loved it since day one. I spend my days writing, editing, and doing online marketing strategy. It’s everything I could want in a job, honestly. I get a few work-from-home days during the month and my weekends start at 11:30 a.m. on Fridays. I get paid a decent wage and I feel acknowledged and accepted at this company.
When I started working here, my job was simple: write SEO content. But over the past four years, the job has changed dramatically that I can barely remember a time when all I did was write all day. It’s changed because my company has developed different growth opportunities for writers and also because SEO is an ever-evolving field and we’ve had to change our practices to grow with this industry. I honestly feel that no day is ever the same, and even if the writing can sometimes be mundane, there’s something comforting about that. I welcome those mundane days because they balance out the crazy ones.
Whew! So there you have it! All of the jobs I’ve had in my life. It’s crazy to see this evolution and was really fun to put this blog post together.
Tell me some of the interesting jobs you’ve had!