As promised, below is my list of jobs blork has done, in roughly chronological order. It does not include babysitting my nieces and nephews when I was 15. It starts with my first real paying (summer) job and proceeds to my current position. It includes a few volunteer jobs, but only those ones which I consider to be, or have been, of some value.
This is an interesting exercise, because I’ve always had a phobia about being stuck “without options.” I’ve always envied these people who manage to find a way to scrape out a living wherever they are, doing whatever it takes. I’ve always feared that I can’t do anything worth getting paid for, that I was condemned to a life on the margins of employment, getting by on unemployment insurance cheques and under-the-table pizza delivery jobs.
Then I look at the list. While few of the jobs have a lot of career potential, I find it amazing that I’ve always managed to find work when I needed it.
Please join in and make a similar list on your blog. But remember: this is not a meme, it’s a monkey!
- Glider pilot training school: ground crew. Best perk: free flying time!
- Part-time sales clerk: electronics shop. I was still in high school. It was great for beer and gas money.
- Waiter: rough & tumble tavern in Sydney, N.S. (The Shingle Inn.) This job only lasted a couple of months. Then I went back to being just a customer.
- Newspaper circulation gopher. Don’t ask…
- Encyclopedia Salesman. One day. I swear it was for only one day!
- “Auditor”: small town cable TV company. Climb utility poles and bust cable pirates. Best perk: learned how to pirate cable.
- “Under the table” construction worker. Hey, I’m a Nova Scotian who was unemployed at the time. It’s a rite of passage.
- “Director of Internal Publicity” (read: poster-maker) for UCCB Student’s Union. Lots of fun, and free tickets to events!
- Part-time kitchen helper in a mental hospital. I sometimes wished the inmates had been running the asylum.
- Part-time sales — Men’s wear (The Bay). A dirty job but someone had to do it.
- Delivery/setup/operator for college audio-visual department. I did this part-time while I was a student — and simultaneously doing the three jobs mentioned above. It was a busy time.
- Photo editor — university student newspaper. So rad!
- Photo editor — university student yearbook. It’s not like I wasn’t already taking photos. I swear, half the photos in the 1985 St. F.X.U. yearbook are from me…
- Tree Planter. Flies! Damn flies!
- University housing office clerk (summer). A dull job, but it produced a number of good drinkin’ tales (as in, tales to tell while drinkin’.)
- Videographer for a pilot project from the Nova Scotia Hearing & Speech Clinic. It’s amazing what you can do with no money but a dedicated team.
- St. F.X.U. Student’s Union President. More free tickets to events!
- Communications coordinator for a student lobby group (SUNS). Basically a summer patronage job for having been a good SUNS supporter during my year as Student’s Union Prez.
- Photographer’s assistant/portrait photographer. The job that brought me to Montreal.
- Industrial kitchen ventilator cleaner. Under the table. And very, very stinky.
- Human pharmaceutical guinea pig. Don’t ask. Really.
- Asshole. Which is to say, telemarketing agent. This didn’t even last half a day, and the whole time I was dreaming of being the heroic whistle-blower.
- Shipping clerk/truck driver: lingerie factory. Woo hoo! Bras! Slips! Fuzzy pyjamas!
- Photo researcher — stock photo agency. I don’t think I’ve ever had a boss who infuriated me more than that one.
- Proofreader/editor (systems theory books). The dullest books on the face of the earth. But at least it got me going down the editorial road.
- HazMat technician. I got to travel to the (*ahem*) pristine Canadian arctic — and to mop up hazardous materials when I got there.
- Totally illegal and unqualified food inspector. I’m really not going to say anything about this because I don’t think the statute of limitations is up yet…
- Travel guide writer/photographer. One of those things that’s a dream job when you apply, a nightmare when you’re doing it, and a dream job in retrospect.
- Forum moderator, online community (Café Utne). I’ve been doing this since 1995 so that makes me, like, way cooler than you.
- Technical writer (four different companies). This one qualifies as “career.” And I’m ready to change. Any suggestions?
- Webmaster (volunteer) for the local chapter of the STC. This is how I learned about making Web sites.
- Technical/Marketing writer Technically, this is included in the “four different companies” mentioned above, but I thought I would list it separately since marketing writing is so different from hardcore tech writing. Still… any suggestions?
So? How about you?