I was telling a friend the other day how funny it was that I almost became a Secret Service Agent once (he didn’t believe me, but it’s totally true!), and I thought it might be funny to list out all the jobs I can remember doing over my lifetime :) Maybe it’ll spark some good ideas for any of you looking for a change in employment soon?
Here’s what I’ve been getting into over the years, along with pay:
- Babysitter ($5/hour) — This was the first job I ever remember doing, and I did it all across the country and even into Korea when we lived there. Which is pretty weird now thinking about it cuz I was only like 13-17 back then and didn’t have a CLUE about watching kids, nonetheless babies! I must have forgotten all that I knew back then though cuz there’s no way parents would hire someone they didn’t trust, right? I know I’m not! :)
- Lawn Cutter ($5-$20/lawn) — Okay I lied, THIS is the first thing I remember doing I think… But it only netted like $5 bucks a lawn unless I got lucky and the Jacksons happened to need my services at the time. That brought in a cool $20 a pop and it was like hitting the jackpot!! They were always looking out for us young hustlers ;)
- Pet Watcher/Walker ($10/day?) — This was one of the easiest and most fun ones ;) You go in once in the morning and afternoon and evening, give them some food and clean up any messes/poo/pee (when dealing with cats), and then you go on a nice walk! The idea of getting PAID for it was just icing on the cake, haha… except for when it rained or snowed, Ugh.
- Camp Counselor ($4.75/hour?)— My first “real” job that didn’t have to do with babies or pets! Haha… For an entire Summer I worked as a camp counselor/watcher of kids, and played games with them all day long and went to the pool and parks/etc. It was awesome :) And I totally fit in being a big kid myself, haha…
- Commissary Vendor Stocker ($800/mo) — When we lived overseas I had a best friend who was ALLLLways trying to make business deals and hustle every which way he went. And when our parents told us to get a job for the Summer, of course we had to do it together and have some fun with it ;) So my friend worked out a deal with the manager of the commissary there (which is like a grocery store for military families, only a LOT cheaper than any others for the rest of the world!) and snagged us a late-night stocking gig where we could knock it out together, as a team, rather than hiring 1 full-time person to do it like the position originally required ;) And all Summer we worked only 4 hours a day instead of 8, and everyone was happy! Man that was a killer partnership… loved every day of it. Always more fun to get work done with close friends!
- Day Care Associate ($6/hour) — I RULED that place for like 6 weeks until someone found out I wasn’t 18 and thus couldn’t be in charge of kids by myself (legally). I was then terminated on the spot even though they KNEW I was only 16 when they hired me!! I was so pissed off… those kids loved me, and I loved them right back :( One of the worst experiences of my “working life” to date.
- Bagel Maker($6.25?/hour) — For a hot week I worked at a bagel shop cooking up bagels until I realized the owners had totally lied to me… I had been hired on to work the day shift in front of the counter helping customers and ringing them up, only to be assigned for 6 months to the BACK room dealing with food *instead* of customers AND working the early shift starting at 4 a.m. Needless to say I was outta there pretty quick, those turds…
- Bowling Alley Attendant ($7/hour) — This was one of my all-time favorites :) From like 10pm until 2am I was in charge of giving everyone their shoes and lanes for Cosmic Bowling – remember that? When all the lights go out and they turn on the black lights and dance music?? Oh man that place was a riot… didn’t pay much, but the atmosphere was great :)
- Prep Cook ($7/hour) — At the same time as working the bowling alley, I’d hit up a local Italian restaurant to help them get their food ready for the evening rushes. Particularly their bread sticks which later gave me the name “Bread stick Boy” haha… I’d do this right after school from like 5pm-9pm, and then shoot right on over to Cosmic Bowling – it was great.
Jobs During College:
- Book Store associate ($7-$8/hour) — My first job at college, and one I did throughout my entire 4 years there. One of the BEST ways to network and meet people! In particular girls, *ahem* ;) Everyone needs books for their classes, right? And unless you wanted to spend a good 45 mins finding them throughout the bazillions of stacks in the store, you needed my help to find them a lot quicker, haha…
- Gadzooks worker ($6.75/hour?) — Remember that store? If you were a raver/goth/punk, it was THE place to get your accessories :) As well as Halloween costumes during season… I actually got hired on the spot when I walked in, and when asked why the manager goes, “Because you look like you do drugs.” That’s a first! I mean yeah – I did look like a druggie with my blue hair and Jnco jeans, but that’s why you hire me?? Pretty funny… Btw, a little known fact: I’ve never touched anything outside of alcohol :)
- 7-Eleven sandwich maker ($8/hour) — Another odd gig that I had and lasted only about a month, haha… But when you’re locked in a big freezer for 8 hours a day putting together breakfast and lunch sandwiches all over the place, it tends to get old FAST. And it’s not fun going from freezing temperatures right into 100 degree sweltering heat within a matter of seconds either, I couldn’t take it. My brother lasted all Summer though :)
- Construction Site Trash Hauler ($8-12/hour) — This one I did on and off during all 4 years of college breaks as it was pretty much the easiest job to snag – there was always a need for it. And all it entailed was picking up and moving debris from the site to the large trash bins back and forth all day long… Super physical, but super easy.
- Timeshare Sales Rep ($400-$800 a sale) — You know those deals where you have to go take a tour somewhere to get a free dinner/gift certificate/prize? Well, I was that person to give you that tour, and then at the end would ask you if you wanted to buy one of the timeshares for yourself :) And if you said no, you’d then get about 3 other people trying to close you on the deal soon after (my boss, his boss, and his boss). But eventually you would get your prize, haha… What a racket…I did this for a whole Summer making a couple thousand dollars super easily, but in the end realized sales just wasn’t for me. I always felt real icky at the end of each day.
- Stamp Factory Drone ($10/hour) — On the Summers I’d do temp work and got myself into alllll kinds of gigs as you’ll soon see below :) This one in particular was at a literal stamp factory where 100 of us were on assembly lines making sure all the stamps were coming out and packaged okay. It was just as exciting as it sounds, haha… and the craziest part of all was that we weren’t allowed to wear ANY clothes that had pockets in them as you could easily steal stuff! And any backpacks/purses? They had to be 100% see-through or they didn’t make it through the security check point (yup, we had those too). Apparently there’s a huge underground black market for stamps. And if you think about it, you can easily put like $1,000 worth into your pockets pretty easily, maybe even $10,000. I remember once looking at a pallet of them and my manager telling me that was worth $1 million dollars! So weird. Oh, and you also had to work 12 hours shifts from 6am-6pm which took some getting used to. But then you also got Fridays off :)
- Photographer ($0 – $10/shot) — My girlfriend at the time was snapping pics for our college paper, so one day I cam alone with her to just hang out cuz I was bored, and a couple days later I randomly had my first assignment :) It was pretty cool (and unexpected). They’d tell you want events were going around campus that week, hand you a camera, and then you’d volunteer to cover one of the events… And after your first handful, you started getting paid for the ones they ran! Which was doubly cool since you’d also have your name in the paper too :)
- Kid Shelter Volunteer ($0) — I did this once a week and all it entailed was “being a kid” for a few hours and playing with all of them – it was awesome :) And had it paid, I probably would have done it more as a real job!
- Assistant Photo Editor ($50/issue) — After a semester of snapping pics as a photographer, the school paper promoted me to Assistant Photo Editor which gave me more money and a better line item on the ol’ resume ;) Though it required way more of my time before every paper got published.
- Photo Editor ($100/issue?) — Another semester after that I become the editor! Which doubled my time again there, along with many other responsibilities, but also came with more pay and excitement. I even got to meet a lot of celebrities and musicians that would come through during concerts too and take their pictures! It was awesome.
- Assistant Photo Editor Intern ($10/hour) — I then moved to NYC during my last Summer in college to try and see what this field would be like in the “real world,” and quickly found out it’s not the same ;) Not only is everything super fast-paced up there, but you’re surrounded by INSANELY smart people all around you and it’s hard to stay at the top unless you’re incredibly motivated and passionate. Which I only had 1/2 of (the motivated part). But all in all it was a great experience, and it’s cool to now say I worked for a magazine at one point :)
Jobs After College:
- Boat Rental Worker ($10/hour) — After college I had a hard time finding the right fit for me because I only wanted to do my *perfect* job (which I never found out what that even looked like!), so I went back into my temp’ing habits and landed a few higher paying (and fun) gigs my first Summer out. And one of them entailed renting out speed boats and pontoons on our local lake from 6 am to 4pm on the weekends :) It was great to be out in the sun! (But also horrible to wake up so early after a night of Friday or Saturday night partying, d’oh!)
- Totaled Car Washer ($5/car) — Then during the week, a buddy and I would drive out to a car auction lot about 60-70 miles away and vacuum/wash about 50 demolished cars a day that were soon to be put up for auction (I guess for the parts?). It wasn’t that glamorous at all, but again it was nice to be outside during the Summer months and blaring music while doing something that had an easy start and finish and where you could see your immediate results. And if you were lucky, you’d also find some pretty cool stuff left in cars too that we were allowed to take (like cd players, spare change, and even jewelry sometimes). As long as those cars were washed, everyone was happy. And if you’re wondering WHY the heck you’d even clean out totaled cars like that, well, it was because they’d sell for about $300-$400 MORE on average at the auction – just ‘cuz they were shinier! Even if there was blood or dirt all over the inside, bleh… (Another interesting note: At the end of the Summer my friend asked me if I wanted to buy the car washing “business” from him and do it full-time myself for full pay ($15/car), but ultimately I passed on it because I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do long term, esp. over the winter. He later sold it to someone else and put all his money into some hair care business for men – the bald kinds ;))
- Dish Washer ($11/hour) — After washing cars throughout the day, I’d then scoot my tail over to Applebee’s and get even MORE wet washing dishes for them all night long ;) And as odd as it sounds (especially since I had my college degree by then!) it may have been one of my favorite part-time gigs! You got to meet everyone who worked there on a rotational basis, and spray water all over the place while jamming out to some nice tunes! And the funniest part was that it paid MORE than most of the servers or other people back there too! Which I always thought about whenever they’d belittle me or give me a hard time for whatever reason ;) If you’re looking for respect, that gig was def. not the one to go after, haha…
- Old Navy Associate ($9/hour) — After a few months of washing everything I could get paid for and the boat business drying up, a friend of mine convinced me to work with him over at Old Navy which I thought would be a nice change of pace. It would be a full-time job with benefits (what are those??), and I could condense all my 3 gigs into 1 main one there at the store alongside my friend. I quickly snapped it up and it soon became my newest favorite job so far :) It was nice to stay so dry the whole time while ALSO meeting a lot of new and cool people who were forever coming in and out of the store all week. I even used it as a springboard to finally move back to NYC for good in hopes of chasing my dreams of doing who-knows-what up there, and xfered over. I only lasted about 6 months after that ;)
- TV Show PA (Production Assistant) ($0) — This one might tied for not only my favorite “real world” experience, but also the most ANNOYING, haha… I took on the job while trying to figure out what, exactly, I wanted to do with my life (on top of working at Old Navy for pay), and it pretty much entailed me being the bitch to anyone and everyone on the show – talent included. Which ranged anywhere from picking up coffees in the morning, to being the personal assistant to the star and making sure that she a) woke up on time and b) was as happy as she could possibly be during filming. Which sometimes meant me listening to all her boy problems and telling her everything was going to be okay, haha… which she’d then hug me in thanks, only to bitch me out a few hours later for something that was probably not even my fault ;) That’s show business for you! (I don’t want to rat out any stars or shows here, but I will say they were pretty minor ones and that the show was produced by the same people at SNL which was pretty neat to find out)
- Travel Agent ($10/hour) — Once I learned the entertainment biz wasn’t for me, I decided I wanted to do something that involved travel so I could continue exploring the world while at the same time getting paid for it (I come from a military background, so I was used to moving every 2 years anyways). It wasn’t until I completed a travel agent course AND got hired on by that same company that trained me, that I realized you actually DON’T get to travel as much as you think you would being a travel agent :( You book things for OTHER PEOPLE to go exploring! Haha… but as luck would have it, my boss had a daughter who worked for Continental Airlines and said I needed to go over there instead so I *could* take advantage of the travel perks. So I did :)
- Airline Ticket Agent ($9/hour) — I was a ticket agent/un-titled assistant manager for the next 12 months, and all I did was fly all over the place during my time off and help out customers while on the clock. It was awesome (though I never had any money once I got to all these fancy places! Haha…). And then I got laid off. This was circa 2002 after 9/11, and apparently Continental was hiring way too many people than they should have been, and thus my group was cut as we were the last ones to be hired (everything in the airline industry has to do with senority, which I think is ridiculous. Yes, you should get priority over others if you’ve been working there for a while, but you should also be GOOD AT YOUR JOB too. And I can tell you that 70% of my colleagues absolutely blew and were only employed because of their senority… Which is why, in my opinion, the airlines have such a high dissatisfaction among customers – they aren’t kept on due to performance!)
- Customer Service Rep ($28,000/year) — After I got laid off, I decided it was time to come home to the DC area and I picked up my first salaried job at E*Trade Financial where I helped customers over the phone. It wasn’t as exciting as traveling the world for basically free, but it did pay better and was more “appropriate” according to my parents ;) It was also the very first job I had that was a 9-5 desk type of place which was a nice change from standing up the whole time…
- Customer Service Assistant Manager ($32,000/year) — After a year I got promoted to assistant manager of one of the departments there, only to have that entire department canned due to internal restructuring 2 months later – d’oh! But by that time I was also dabbling in real estate stuff, and decided to go full-fledge into that at that point ;)
- Realtor ($3,000+++++/transaction) — For the next 3 months I became a realtor and helped my 3 clients buy their first 3 homes which my boss said was pretty good being a newbie in the field. I saw how much opportunity there was to make some good money there (I had made $3,000-$6,000 per transaction, and my colleagues were making upwards of $10k-$20k!) but the only problem was that I was NOT a good self-motivator, and it was way too weird to set your own hours and have all your money become commission-based only. I eventually gave it up while I was “at the top” and decided it wasn’t for me (there seems to be a trend here :))
- Customer Service Rep at a Startup ($35,000/year) — I then answered a job opportunity on Craigslist and jumped right into my very first startup company and realized there was this whole other world out there in the employment field. Places where you can dress and style your hair however you want, while at the same time having a MUCH bigger impact on the company! You’d have to do a lot more work, and be pretty flexible in other areas of the job too, but the notion of working with only 4 or 5 people over hundreds was such a huge change for me. And one I loved like no other (no more corporate policies, woo!).
- Customer Service Manager ($45,000/year) — After 6 months I was promoted to manager of the department (i.e. just me and 1 other person), and I was in charge of growing it out and making sure all was well as the company itself grew. This lasted about a year until they tried moving me to another area when they thought my skills could be used even better (they turned out to be wrong).
- Product Manager($48,000/year?) — I was promoted to Product Manager and held to a “3 new products a month” timetable which I failed at miserably because a) they didn’t have the tech department to actually IMPLEMENT any of the products we created as a team And b) It just wasn’t my thing. I had enjoyed my customer service stuff, and I desperately wanted to get back to it. At the same time of all this self-recognition, I also noticed the company was starting to putter out and realized it was only a matter of time until it eventually shut down or got sold off. One of the major downsides of working at a startup – you never know how stable they are! The goods times are GREAT and the bad times are HORRIBLE. And I saw the writing on the wall and dipped out as soon as I found my next home.
- Customer Service Director ($55,000->$78,000/year) – One of my ex-colleagues at that first startup decided to go out on his own and start a company, and he offered me the job of building out HIS customer service department too – which was something I jumped on right away. It started out at a much better pay than the previous gig, and I didn’t have to prove myself all over again cuz my friend already knew how I worked :) And over the years my salary got bumped higher and higher as our company grew and grew, and all was good in the world for a couple of years.
- Project Manager (same as above, $78,000) — Then as times changed, we started moving away from direct to consumer products and more into business-to-business type stuff). So my customer service duties vanished over time, and I moved into more of a project management role helping out with the various deals going on within the company. This job was so-so, but the benefits continued to grow like crazy and we were bringing in the millions (the company, not me) so it was a no brainer to stay on board. This is the point I also started Budgets Are Sexy on my spare time :)
- Graphic Designer (same as above, $78,000) — My boss then found out I had graphic design skills, which I happened to major in at college (funny how it all came back to that!) and I became our in-house designer while at the same time managing all my projects. It was a nice change of pace, and everything ran smoothly until the disastrous economy hit (as well as my company not learning how to manage their money well) and a few years later I was out the door and doing more of what I loved on the side – blogging.
- Blogger/Entrepreneur ($100,000+/year) — And now here we are today! My side “fun” project of blogging 4+ years ago turned into a full-time job to save me while my last one was going under :) Not too shabby. And after almost TWO YEARS now having done this full-time and being self-employed, I’m still going strong! The only “career” that has withstood my A.D.D. so far, I’m pretty impressed with myself! Haha… We’ll see how much longer it can go.
- Blog Coach ($50-$100/hr) — Helping bloggers grow and make money off their sites :) One of my favorite jobs yet! (Outside of actually being a blogger, of course).
- Money Coach ($50-$100/hr) — Same as above, only for people and their wallets :)
- Advisor to Financial Startups ($100+/hr and/or stock) — Same as above, only for startups!
[Last updated 8/28/15]
What I’ve Learned So Far
And that brings us up to speed on my employment history so far in this life of mine. MAN that took me a while to type out! Haha… 3 full hours!! And I’m sure I’m missing a few jobs in there too somewhere but oh well… I’m not going back to edit it again :) All this leads me to conclude three things though:
- No job is ever permanent. Which can be either a blessing or a distraction (or both). But either way you always have to keep your eyes open and your skills sharp!
- As long as you’re moving UP in the happiness area, whichever career field that is, you’re probably on the right track. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to change that too if you ever start (or want) to veer off in another direction later.
- And lastly, I’m probably not a great example of a “good worker” as you can see from my constant and random job hopping :) I’m a lot better than I was starting out, especially when I focus myself, but I def. don’t think you need to run through 30+ jobs just to get to a job you’re finally happy about – that’s pretty crazy. As long as you’re consciously making moves to get to your end goals as best as you know how, I’m sure you’ll get their much faster than I. Just keep following what makes SENSE to you along the way and you can’t go wrong! (Unless you get fired or something, but really that’s out of your control most times anyways. And in which case you pick yourself back up and move right along to that next one which you were much more meant for ;))
So there you have it. Time to sign off now before I spend another 300 hours making this post into a novel! Hope you enjoyed it… And honestly I don’t think I’m done yet in the workforce – I still have a list of 10+ other jobs to try one day! ;)
How about you? Let us know what types of jobs YOU’VE gotten into too! Would love to see what you’ve all dabbled in – I bet you could list ’em off a lot faster than I could ;)
(Photo credit: Bede Jackson)
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I never could get past that $30k barrier :/ and I was a graphic design reject. But I know I’m going to break that six figures on blogging/entrepreneur/design. Thanks for the inspiration J. Money!
Cool list! I have had plenty of odd jobs during college and sometimes a memory of one that I had forgotten reappears! Coolest one was waitressing at an exclusive restaurant overlooking Paris by night, worst was database manual entries.
LoL, I worked at Old Navy when I was in high school. Sh**tiest. Job. Ever.
As someone who has also had a checkered employment history I love the idea behind this post. I also aspire to be a full-time blogger in the future. This was GREAT, J Money:)
What other sites do you own, because that is balling if you are making 100k on this site…
Let’s see… keep in mind that I live in MX so, it might look like not a lot of money for you guys ;)
Babysitter ($2/hour, $3 after 10pm): easiest job ever! I had a family that required my services almost every weekend and the kids were amazing and didn’t fight too much for bedtime
floor employee at a candle factory ($0): My father used to be floor manager for a US candle company. He wanted us (my siblings and me) to learn to appreciate how lucky we were and see us the reality of our community (people working overtime just to barely make ends meet, poverty at its fullest). So he would take us to work at the factory and instructed the supervisors to treat us like any other worker. Hardest work ever, I wasn’t happy at all back then but now I’m grateful he did it.
Website designer ($150/project): mmmm not the funnest job, but it was good
Theater assistant ($11/event, $5/ hour if the event took more than 3 hours): I was one of the guys who looks at your ticket and directs you to your seat. Loved it! since once the event got started I was the doorkeeper I got to watch plays, concerts and pretty much everything for free (and from time to time, I’d even get free tickets for my friends and family, especially for the opera and ballet which are the best memories my sister has from her childhood)
Programmer assistant (150/week): much better than designing websites, but I did pretty much the same thing ;)
Microsoft student consultant ($450/month – half time): Had the most fun there, met incredible and brilliant people. I got to go to MS Campus in Seattle and to talk with the Messenger PM (and since I used to use messenger 24/7 I gave her all my feedback)
Software Developer ($10K/year): The job title says it all, I was a programmer all the way. It paid above average, it had a nice dress code (none! people would go on PJs to work) and excellent time flexibility
Sw Dev/QA/QA lead ($23K/year): My current job, being here for a looooong time and loving it! Basically I get to say what will be delivered to the customers according to quality standards, I don’t do any programming and just review what other people do ;). I get to talk with people from all over the world and with all kinds of job titles (from floor employee to CEOs)
Everyone has their own path to success and happiness, neither are necessarily measured in salaries. If you are happy with how you spend your time that could be worth more than having a mundane job that pays much better.
I have categorized work into four quadrants, 1) paid well and love what you do, 2) paid well and hate what you do, 3) paid poorly and love what you do, 4) paid poorly and hate what you do.
Number 1 is obviously the ideal situation, 2 and 3 are a gray area and it really depends on how much you like/dislike your job and how much/little it pays. Number 4 is the worst place to be and sadly the place most people fall into, if that is where you wind up it is time for a change.
I have been very fortunete to always be in Quadrant 1
Ooooh, fun! Let’s see. I’ve been a . . .
door-to-door fundraiser for NYPIRG (that was on commission, but I got a lot of free beer out of it — while I was still 16!)
sandwich board advertiser
shelf-stocker/cashier at Woolworths ($4.25/hr)
college cafeteria worker ($6.25/hr, but the smell would stay on you for days)
college information desk worker ($5.75/hr, but I didn’t smell anymore)
reception/customer service for an engineering company one summer
paid graduate student (loved that fellowship!)
various administrative temp jobs ($11–$14/hr, mostly at financial firms in Boston. I got to answer the phone when Jeff Bezos called my boss once!)
administrative assistant at a major publishing company ($27,500, I think. Who can remember?)
freelance editing college admissions essays ($100 each)
Then I got into my current field about 12 years ago: ESL textbook publishing. I do it freelance now, but started in house with a different major company. I don’t make as much as I did annually then, but I make way more per hour, and I have a flexible schedule that allows me to spend time with my kids every afternoon. :-)
What a fun post J! I did a double take when I saw the 30+ title!
I remember those fun jobs before and during college where it was more about not having to do any homework and hanging out with cool folks. I had a couple temping jobs in HS that paid around $4 an hour, but were fun. College were essentially two international internships.
When you go back and edit your post, consider putting the dates in each. Will be easier to follow! On entrepreneurial income, you talking revenue or operating profit?
Wow, that’s awesome. I’m very impressed that you keep chasing happiness and not money. It’s nice that the money came along too. 8)
My job resume isn’t very impressive. I had a few odd jobs and then jumped straight into the corporate world for 16 years. I’m done with that though and I’m all about self employment now.
I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing it. It is always interesting to hear the path that led someone to where they are at the moment. My current employer is always pushing 5 year plans, but it really is so difficult to truly plan a life of any interest.
I haven’t had that many job because I tend to be overly loyal to a company. But the weirder jobs I have had were delivering ice (paid shockingly well) which lead to managing the entire plant before I quit and went to grad school. I also worked in a doughnut shop at 4:30am on Saturdays my last two years of undergrad. 4:30 sounds early until you realized I just stayed up from the night before and my co-worker picked me up where ever I was. I was basically just there to be company and to be company so she wasn’t alone.
Wow, I thought I was bad with 16; you make me feel better lol. I realized I have a strange pattern of contract positions with poor benefits and returning to the same jobs more than twice. Weird. Makes me want to get my degree faster and move. I don’t know if that will help, but it really looks like I am following some weird pattern, of need money, take crappy, always hiring job. Guess I better work on getting my degree as fast as possible and go from there. It really makes me look at my life a little different.
Leaving off at the 100k+ mark:
Have you done a post that breaks down the revenue, profit (and costs) you make from your self-employed business? Or is that not for public consumption? I would love to see if it comes from advertising, selling established sites, sponsors, etc. I’m just really curious. If you are too private about it, do you know someone in the 6 figure range who has blogged about it with details?
Wow you certainly have a history of interesting jobs. I have had quite a few myself and nobody has ever called me lazy! I am sure you either!
Holy cow! You’ve had more jobs than me!
I love that you tried all of these different things and they finally lead you to work you love. I think there’s a lot to be said for removing fears around trying many types of jobs.
You rock on with yo’ bad self XOXO
Catchy title. My first job paid 75 cents and hour – but I could eat all the popcorn I wanted and watch the movies for free at the theater where I sold concessions (don’t ask me about the time a kid brought the candy bar back with a worm!).
Whoa! That is a lot of jobs. Mine are:
High school and college: Lifeguard (peak $22/hour)
College: Event Manager ($12/hour – work study gig)
Post-College: Research Analyst and now Community Manager!
I used to PA too. PA stands for “please abuse,” in case you are wonder. PA’ing made me bitter because it never lead to better work just more PAing.
Such an interesting list of jobs! Mine are pretty boring office positions. I don’t recall how much I was paid except that it was over minimum wage.
High School – receptionist for H&R Block
College (mostly summer jobs) – legal assistant, admin for insurance agency, publishing assistant at school’s journal publishing company, advertising/marketing intern, art history archives assistant
Post-College – litigation paralegal at large law firm
Now – commercial litigation and creditors’ rights attorney, freelance writer
Holy moly, Batman!!! I thought I job hopped…but yay for ending up happy no matter what! Here’s my breakdown and the pay as I remember it (so, guesstimates…):
Babysitting ($5 an hour)
English Tutor in Argentina ($0 – volunteer)
Pawn reseller ($15-$60 per ring) – I would buy rings from the “new and crazy” arena of online auctions in 1998 (like bidz.com) and resell those rings to the local pawn shops.
Dorm help desk ($6 an hour)
Dorm tour guide ($6 an hour)
University of Houston donation center caller ($6.50 an hour and it sucked for 2.5 months before I quit)
University of Houston Games Room Attendant ($6.25 an hour and I did it for 3 years)
University of Houston Admin Office Assistant ($6.25 an hour for 2.5 years at the same time I worked the Games Room)
Black Jack Dealer for Company Parties ($11 an hour but travel time didn’t count..overlapped with my last year of college)
Tax Office Receptionist ($7 an hour and it overlapped with the Games Room and the Black Jack Dealing for my last semester of college…had 12 hours of classes and 60+ hours of part-time jobs, lol)
Forms programmer ($26,500-$35,500 a year over 6 years)
Petsitting on and off for years ($20 per dog per night)
Babysitting on and off ($10 an hour for two kids)
Blogging and Blog Advertising Management ($5000 first year, $99,000 second year, and $119,000 so far this year – all before Paypal and other expenses, but still happy!)
wow what a wealth of life experience you have in all those different venues. I am in awe of your ability to remember the wage you received, especially for those which were not receiving a pay stub. Thanks for sharing!
I loved the photograph during college job (0$/..) hahaha, it’s funny, specially that a photo editor can make 100$/issue… Anyways, could a blogger really make 100 000$/year? I mean I read a lot of things concerning work online from home but do you really know how does it work?
You did well in your job path, looking back, mine was not the same but there were quite a few jobs and a variety. I had happiness with some and utter frustration with others…… I think I found what made me happiest in the finance industry. Thanks for sharing your adventures.
Glad you all enjoyed these! Was on my list 3 years ago to do at some point and I finally got around to posting it! :)
@janet – There you go J Flo! We’ll have to throw a party for all those who have “made it” one day, hehe… It’s a tough climb, but once you’re there it’s all worth it!
@Pauline – Oooh la la!! That Paris on is what dreams are made of :)
@Jonathan – Haha, really? What didn’t you like about it, the people? You def. have to be a people-person to enjoy it that’s for sure. And have the patience of a nun.
@L Bee and the Money Tree – Glad you liked it! YOUR TURN to blog about it now ;)
@Steve – I own a handful, as well as other side projects I dabble in (which is the reason I added in “entrepreneurship” in there, since it wouldn’t be fair to say I make all that money just from this blog). But due to anonymity, I cannot share, sorry ;)
@m1nts – The best job you had on there? “floor employee at a candle factory” — SO SMART of your father to show you guys what life is like in those jobs!!! Something you can always remember and keep in the back of your mind for sure. Tell him I approve the next time you two chat :)
@Jay @ effumoney – Love it dude! If you haven’t already posted about that on your site, you totally need to! It’s a great (and easy) way of looking at things :)
@Alexis – Woolworths! I forgot about that place! Oh man, that was the best as a kid – I used to get all my fish from there, haha… and when they died (cuz they always did) they’d replace them for free if it was within a certain time period :) Cool you chatted with Jeff Bezos once too! That would be awesome.
@Financial Samurai – You like asking that question all the time, don’t you? ;) It’s always profit. Don’t see the point of posting up revenue numbers as it never matches the variables here: salary.
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Yeah dog! And I bet you’re LOVING it right now too :) You and your kid!
@Rachel – I’m so glad you liked it! That makes me feel good :) And that all that time I spent on it was worth it! Haha… And yeah, I’ve never been too fond of 5 year plans when it comes to careers (obviously), but that’s only because nothing’s ever caught my interest for very long – with the now exception of blogging. I do, however, believe in 5 year+ plans when dealing with your money! That’s an important one ;)
@Brian – HAH! So if you were still at a party or something, your co-worker would just scoop you up and take you to work? That is awesome!! I’d probably have done it too :) Your ice delivery gig sounds pretty intersting too. It’s funny the things we’ve done when you look back up on them all.
@LB @ Finanical Black Sheep – Going back to the same jobs over and over again? Huh. Can’t say I’ve done that I don’t think, but I can see why someone would want to. I’m pretty sure you’ll be in a much better place once you get that degree :)
@Cherrie – That’s an excellent question, and I’m afraid you’re right in that it’s not for public consumption :) But I will say 80%+ of it comes from some sort of advertising partnerships. If that helps… Some people that DO go into detail from how they make all their money are:
1) Smart Passive Income (Probably has made $100k in some MONTHS ;))
2) The Financial Blogger
3) The Financial Blogger
Though you’d have to click through their posts to find out where they list them as I forget.
@debtgirl – Nope, never lazy but certainly *other* things ;)
@Agatha – Thanks my Dorkness!
@Marie at FamilyMoneyValues – Hhahahhaaah… that is awesome :)
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – You’re much more loyal than I ;)
@Slackerjo – Haha, I can def. see that. Just sucks because obviously everyone who PAs wants to move up and do all that fun and exciting stuff!! Not to mention higher-payed gigs.
@Legally Thrifty – Art history archives assistant – that one sounds fun!
@Crystal @ Get A Copywriter – LOVE IT!!! Especially that Pawn Reseller hustle, haha… you’re always thinking :) Congrats on making so much this year too w/ the ad business, I know we’re all hoping it continues full force!
@jolie – Well, I kinda fudged some of them here and there but they’re fairly accurate :) I’m just impressed I rememebered all those jobs so far!
@Dan – Ofcourse I know how it works, I’m doing it! :) But way too much to get into via commenting – I’d check out BudgetingInTheFunStuff.com for more info or even DailyBlogTips.com – great sites for that kinda stuff.
@daveM – Cool! You’re in the field all of us here pretty much likes ;)
Awesome dude! Big ballin! I’ve been trying to get our buddy Mike from TFB to differentiate between revenue and profit for some time, and he’s finally done it haha.
With $9,400+ a month in profit, you can pay down your debt easily! Is there anything in particularly you’re looking to do with the money?
Also, any advice for bloggers on how you overcame coming out and telling people how much you make? Were there any fears or concerns you had as well as the benefits? I got a lot to learn from you guys as I’ve just started to focus on the business side of blogging, so any insights appreciated.
Wow. It must be fun to look back at all the different skills you learned from having so many jobs!
Mowing lawns/Raking Leaves/Shoveling Snow – Charged $10/lawn or driveway
Commissary Vendor Stocker – 25 cents per case!
NAF Food Service Worker – $5.75 – $8.49
Recreational Aid – $7.50 – $8.49
Intern for a Special Operations Squadron (hands down coolest job ever) – $11.74/hour
Recreational Assistant – $9.50/hour
Customer Care Professional at a McDonalds Tech Support Call center.. – $11 – $12 (hated it)
Now I’m an IT Manager at a credit union, and I’ve been here about a year. I’m loving it and the $40k/year salary.
Wow, well done. Though it may not show great staying power, it does show some tenacity and motivation to be employed so much. Also, you are to blame for skewing the “how long people stay in their jobs” statistic.
I think I’ve had about 10 jobs-ish.
Tech Support for small company in Oregon
Corporate Moving Systems (moved computers from one building to another)
Definitive Audio (high end home therter install tech)
A/V Tech for Fortune 50 company
Video Conference Specialist at Fortune 50 company
Systems Engineer at Fortune 50 company
Enrolled Agent (tax specialist, similar to CPA)
Fun exercise writing this down. Thanks for the inspiration. And nice work on the online income side. It’s cool how your income seemed to steadily rise, and now you get to to what you love, making more than you have ever made in any other position.
Wow look at that list! that’s a long list of career journey to build an incontestable experienced role model to us all. You inspired us even more. I couldn’t recall most of my job way back in College other than walking pets, being a tutor and a library assistant. Thanks for this very informative topic J.
This is great! Y’all are reminding me of even MORE jobs I’ve done in the past which I totally forgot about! Haha… namely Commissary Vendor Stocker and Pet Watcher/Walker. Thanks guys! :)
@Financial Samurai – Unfortunately no – nothing sexy as we’re on a 1-income household at the moment while the Mrs. works on her dissertation and we take care of the baby all day long ;) But eventually I would like to get back into Operation Mortgage Payoff again and be done with it once and for all. That’s the only thing that really irks me to this day…
As for divulging numbers – I’ve done it from Day #1 of starting this blog so I’m used to it by now ;) And it’s more comfortable to do when you’re anonymous too and/or your whole family & friends don’t read your blog as well. The weird part may come when the #’s get higher and higher and then it may ruin the integrity of the blog for some people (the whole “you’re not like me at all” kinda thing) but would be a good problem to have, haha… You’re right around that stage now I believe ;)
@Chris – AHHH!!! You just reminded me of job #32 – Commissary Vendor Stocker! I did that EXACT same thing! Haha… look at us go :) And on my list to do one day is also be a banker or work for a credit union, so you’re gigs are right up my alley! Thanks for the reminder, brotha – totally forgot about those earlier years of my life…
@Jacob @ iheartbudgets – Haha, yes – I am to blame for those averages ;) And you should blog about this on your site too if you haven’t yet! It would be intersting to see what your readers have done in the past as well – I’m glad you liked it! (And again – I know I tell you all the time but AWESOME blog name! ;))
@Stuart@personalfinancenow – Glad you enjoyed it! And wow, just realized I was a pet watcher/walker too in my early years! Haha… Time to go edit the post again, thx ;)
I hope I didn’t make you feel bad, saying you had so many jobs. In case I did, I thought I would confess mine. All I can say is this is totally horrible, but at least I am not running for office HA!
First job that I got paid for: House Cleaning for my Uncle: $20 for 3 hours cleaning/once a week
First real job: McDonald’s-$5 something??? or was it $4????
Temp for the government (This happened 3 separate times): $8.00 to $16
Data Entry: $9
Aerospace company (Two separate states): $9-$11.33
Computer company (3 different times): $8.50-$11.50
Satellite company: $11 something
3 Different newspapers (during the recession for 2nd jobs): crap pay minus gas
Kennel attendant: $9 part-time
Pet Sitting Business: Not going to tell, sorry. Let’s just say it was a nice amount.
An appliance parts place and home decor store (husband and wife team): $9-$10
Electricity Co-op: decent pay, no benefits
Engineering company: decent pay, cut down to part time hours.
16+ jobs YUCK. At least now I am more focused on my degree than ever!
Not at all! I don’t think it matters how many jobs someone has had to be honest with you, so no offense taken :) Cool seeing what you’ve gotten into though! You should totally post it up on your site too and see what happens – it’s fun!
wow! I don’t know how you did it. sometimes it does take people time to discover what works for them. And I think you are one of those people who need to try different things until you end up where you need to be :-) I’m kind of that way, too!
@ J. Money
I agree with you I should post about my job quadrants… So I did
Damn J. That’s a crap load of jobs! I’ve only had 5 jobs, counting the one I’m at now. Pretty interesting how your income went up and down, and how many jobs you had to do at the same time.
This was fantastic to read. I’ve had a ton of jobs too, but I think that’s very normal if you’ve been working from a young age. I might steal this idea and do it on my own blog. But here’s the title list: babysitter, Target cashier, home business personal assistant, water meter reader, Macy’s cashier, camp counselor, hostess, PA work, extra work, Macy’s cashier again, after-school program teacher, tutor, substitute teacher, temp work with HTML and copy/paste, until finally a full-time classroom teacher.
That doesn’t include unpaid work though. And I feel like I’m still missing things… and I have no doubt that the list will grow, even though I’ve technically found my “career.” For now. My mom’s changed career paths at least three times, so I’m sure it runs in my blood.
Holy cow, J! Your resume blows mine out of the water, although I can’t really tell you what jobs I did before college.
@Ornella @ Moneylicious – Hey, we gotta do what we gotta do right? Who knows how many MORE gigs we’ll try over the years too :) Nothing’s ever permanent as far as I’m concerned.
@Jay @ effumoney – Yeah dude, nice! I like it :) You can buy me a beer later to thank me, haha…
@Long – Yeah, that’s the downfall of switching all the time – you pretty much start all over again from the beginning and then you have to master things super fast to catch back up. Then repeat the process after the next field change again ;) While I do enjoy the adventure, I must admit I admire others who can stay still and be loyal too. I honestly can’t even fathom it!
@cantaloupe – Haha, I love it :) And yes – you TOTALLY should blog about it too! It’ll give your audience an even deeper look into your life, I love reading about others on their blogs… and also that you were a water meter reader, haha… I don’t know why but that actually *does* kinda sound interesting?
@Marissa @ Thirtysixmonths – Ooh la la! Is that because they were on the naughty side? Or you just can’t remember? ;) (Or maybe you don’t want to remember the naughty jobs? haha…)
Wow, you have had a lot of jobs in your day. I have not had that money but some of the ones that I have had were terrible.
We all gotta go through the crap ones to get to the good ones!
Just updated this list with 3 MORE jobs I remembered I had :)
1) Bagel maker
2) Camp counselor
3) Timeshare Sales Rep
It keeps on growing!!
Between you and Krystal, you inspired me to blog about all of the jobs that I’ve had! If I’m remembering all of them, I’m at 26+! http://www.prosouppropaganda.com/2012/12/my-entire-work-history-26-jobs.html
HAH! Awesome!! And your list just reminded me of another job I once had – Working at Gadzooks! It’s kinda like your Hot Topic, yeah? :) I’ll have to update this later on… thx!
I have probably had more jobs than you have listed, happiness did not really arrive until I started a web site on a serious basis. I still have not found my ‘voice’ to be able to create posts spontaneously, that will come with time, I am sure. From looking at your list, you seemed to find something that let the creative side show and your income jumped while you are having fun.
Yup! And honestly writing these posts every day is one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had too – just ‘cuz I’m not a writer at heart nor is it my favorite mode of communication if you can believe it ;) But you keep challenging yourself and rolling with what makes you happy as you mentioned! Congrats on finding out that your web site is what does it for you, that’s great!
It looks like there are kindred spirits on this site ! I too have a colorful work history. I am a Registered Nurse ( currently not working in my field- by choice), and I substitute teach as desired/needed. In sum : worst job ever- Dialysis Nurse, best job ever- working at Goodwill in the sorting/receiving area. Money is nice, but sanity and happiness is forever. I’m 40 now and I’m on my way to thrift store paradise as well. Secondly, I have a dream for a small organic farm on the side. We are never to young or old to evolve into who we are meant to be! God bless all of you- Annette
YES! Agreed! Thanks so much for stopping by – it’s fascinating learning what others have been doing and what they’re working on. You sound like fun :)
I love this post, it’s so much like my work history too, so there’s hope for me yet!
I’ve kinda settled down a bit over the last 6 years though as I’ve been a business development consultant working for different companies and that suits me. I’ve been into blogging for a few months now, not made any money, but working on a new charity blogging project that aims to create a system that will help charities to bring an income in from their blogs – wish me luck!
It’s great to try a range of jobs, that gives you all sorts of skills and lets you know the sort of work you’re good at and not so good at!
It’s good to know there are fellow job hoppers out there and it’s actually OK!
Yes! It is okay as long as you’re always learning and trying to find the best fit for you :)
That charity thing sounds interesting too… Let me know how it ends up going later if you remember. Good luck w/ the blog!
just want to know what is that gawdawful chemical smell that comes out of old navy? i ventured in once whilst holding my breath, cos you can smell that place plenty before even walking in. i simply could not breathe. what on earth is that smell?
Hah! You’ve got me… I’ve never smelled anything in the two years I worked there :) Maybe something funky was going on when you happened to roll up?
Just reading this from a link in another post, but thanks for sharing! I’m at a point where I’m thinking of leaving the 60 hour work week behind because I’ve been wanting to ‘move up in happiness’. This has definitely been an internal struggle as I love $$$$$, but also love being happy! It’s encouraging to see how your gamble has at times not paid off, but then at other times and ultimately paid off in both a financial and happiness aspect. Thanks for the food for thought!
That’s the ultimate dream, right? To find a better sense of purpose/fulfillment while still making that $$$ and reaching financial freedom :) I’d def. look into other paths on the side to see if you can swap out your current gig for another (or even a handful of others?). Just takes some good experimenting and a leap of faith.
Gadzooks!! Oh man I remember that store. I used to give them all my money. haha Whatever happened to gadzooks anyway? Don’t bother, I already looked it up. They filed for bankruptcy twice and eventually were bought out by Forever 21. Bummer.
Woah! I feel like that would be their arch nemesis? Got the ages locked down though – guess they wanted to hit all angles :)
When did you work at E*Trade? I work there now and mt starting salary was much higher!
Oh man, it was over 10 years ago… And a starting salary too as it was my first “real” job :)
Worked at a feed store $8/hour — did everything, retail, warehouse, deliveries.
USAF – still going strong, up to about 45K/year take home pay plus benefits.
Nice! You’re much more loyal than I :)
Dude! Your resume is legit! I’ve had 11. I usually last about 2 years at a job before I start getting bored. Haha! I’ve done real estate also. Still keep that license in my back pocket in case I ever need it to avoid the cubicle. Thanks for sharing!
This blog/online thing has been the longest I’ve ever stayed in one spot now… Over 8 years – incredible!
So I’ve come across this post several times over the years, and I finally decided to follow in your footsteps and create my own list! It’s at a mere 28, but I’m gaining on you! :)
Hopefully now that I’m on to the writing/blogging/entrepreneur thing my list won’t grow as quickly (this is a great way to do things). But we’ll see!
Thanks for your inspiration and I continue to enjoy your content.
Yeah, I’ve only updated like 3 or so items there in the past handful of years – and they all relate to the same industry so it’s brilliant :)
Going now to check it out!!
(FYI – to those wanting to see Rob’s, here’s the direct link to it: http://moneynomad.com/work-history-much-made-job/)
I too have had over 30 jobs and just walked out on my last job a few hours ago, I have liked about 1/4 of the jobs I have had. I am thinking maybe drug dealer sounds good or perhaps call girl, something simple that I can make my own hours doing. The thing is, is that I hate boring jobs and people, so I am limited
I think you’d be better off hustling online ;) It’s an open world of interesting possibilities, and if you can figure it out you’d make much more $$$ than you can on the streets. And you don’t have to worry about getting locked up!
Check out SmartPassiveIncome.com.
I was working from 17 (now im 29) ..and tried to work from 9 years old..))
And its quite strange experience i had)….as i see now..
1) from 7-12 years old i was making performances show for my parents so they was getting paid to me (i was very creative ahhahhaaa)
2)At 9 i was doing banners in photoshop! was trying at least and even got my first sell for 2 $ =)
3) i was working at 14 in computer shop and was consulting the buyers about PC/and etc- 3 months part time during school
4)after i was trying to work as waitress at evening- 1 day, not mine at all!!!)))
5) at 16-17 i was working in computer service small company around 8 months,finished school
6) 17- 18-19i mooved on my own to the big town and got job in very big company 1 year
7) moved back at 19 and start to work as seller, manager of small telethhone company and coached newbies 1 year
8) 20-21 left from this company and went to try barista!!! hahaa really..was working as barmen 1+ year
9) 21 got MBA and moved to other country
10) 21-22 got job there(almost impossible) for 1+ year as Assistant Manager at Brokers+parallel was doing hustle side in other company
11)24 got job in company which operated with weapons)) and was suddenly as Logistic manager to cooperate and arrange the private nave missions-this is was the most well paid job 2000$/month
12)company closed, 26-27 started side hustles(different):
gave for rent apartment which i rented for profit)
-was selling websites
-did freelance job
-was selling website traffic
-did dog shelter job))
-did profit from being middle man between sellers /buyers for property for comission
-did sell travel tickets online
-did sell my furniture and my clothes for profit (YES) my god =)
This is what i could remember right now ))
Forgot to tell that the life throws you sometime up and down…..i was working from 50$/month till 2000$/month…and not ashamed of this.
Ah, forgot to share the most strange experience…i was a cleaner in military hospital for 3 month with salary 50$ /MONTH!
And i was still studying my MBA in university.
Its nice and fun to try different kind of job…from bad to perfect once….
I remember when i moved in other country the company i was working for didnt have money and they paid me 700$/month which ive paid 500$ for rent of apartment from this money and lived on 200$ MONTH…
So life is interesting journey! Ypu never know!=)
So fascinating to read!!!
Love seeing this stuff, and how different all our experiences are
You’re definitely right – never know what life has in store for us! Even when we do our best to hustle and focus/etc.
Thanks for putting all this out there – was fun to read :)
Would you put all your past experience on your resume? I feel like you’d have to fudge it to have any chance of getting of job.
I don’t use a resume anymore (I just show links to all my projects), but if I had to cobble one together I’d just use the most relevant stuff from the past 15 years :) All the prior stuff is too random and not applicable.