“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do,
as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Merriam-Webster defines JOBBING: chiefly British: working occasionally at separate short jobs
No doubt everyone has a list, some a very long list, of a variety of jobs they have held. Depending on the generation, it would vary quite a bit.
My dad had one career. ONE career, one place of employment his entire life. He was in college in the co-op program when WWII broke out. He was doing his six-month stint at the time at Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia. He joined the Army. After his deployment was over, the Arsenal had to hire him back. They not only did that, they paid for the balance of his education – one credit shy of a Master’s degree. He was employed there until his retirement, moving up in the ranks from student intern to Metallurgist to Co-Director of the Arsenal.
My hubby has had about SIX careers, not jobs but careers! – From School Teacher to Naval Officer to Pastor to Retail Supervisor to Career Transition Counselor to Biblical Counselor. I can’t wait to see what’s next! 🙂
Most of us have a history of summer jobs, weekend work or some sort of internships to get us through college. I also think that many who graduated from college in one field are not now pursuing that field. But all of these experiences have shaped us, have contributed in some fashion of who we are today.
Other than babysitting, my first job was in the summer selling Avon, door-to-door. It was horrible! I was awful! I was 17 years old and cold-calling. It was about a million degrees and I had such a bad self-image that I would pray, really pray that no one was home when I rang the doorbell. God heard my prayer! I lost money in that venture but for years had this cool little sample box of about 50 different lipstick shades. 🙂
I always wanted to be a secretary. I didn’t like school and it showed in my GPA. I knew I could get a job in that field by just taking the secretarial program through high school. I excelled in Typing class! My dad was of the mindset that “if one doesn’t graduate from college, one amounts to nothing.” That has been a stigma that I have lived with my whole life. Eventually we compromised (with help from a school counselor intervening) and I went to a junior college. Circumstances happened that compelled me to drop out after one year.
Still focused on being a secretary and now armed with typing and shorthand and accounting, I proceeded to hunt down the perfect job. I secured it and lasted three weeks before I was fired. It was mostly bookkeeping which was not my strong suit. Devastating as that was, I now had car payments so never gave up. In between jobs (and there were a few) I worked for Manpower and Kelly Girls. In those days, Kelly Girls was nicknamed “The White Glove Girls” and yes, I had to wear silly white gloves to the first day of each assignment. Sigh. But it was good experience to help me size up different companies and get over my lousy self-image. Through those early days, I never had a career but I had a variety of jobs always in the secretarial field.
One of those temporary assignments was downtown Philadelphia working for an insurance agency. I rode the train into the city then walked six blocks each way because I didn’t know how the bus system worked and was too shy to ask. This was where I took up smoking. If you smoked, you got extra breaks, not to mention it looked cool! (I said to myself) You’ll be happy to know I gave up smoking decades ago!
Another job through Manpower was with a Jewish Y. (oxymoron?) The office was in an old house and my “desk” was a card table with a typewriter on it.
When I became a single-mom, I needed a job but also knew my children were my first priority and needed to be home when the kids were home. I applied and was hired at MacDonalds. Yes, McDonalds – the selling hamburgers and fries and nuggets McDonalds. I worked four hours each weekday, the lunch rush. I was in my 30’s and was the oldest employee there! Times have changed! That was my job for four years! I never even held a secretarial job that long!
Since then there have been a few other jobs along with a few off-course positions; the BIG one being going back to school, learning sign language and becoming an Interpreter for the Deaf.
My favorite, my ALL-TIME FAVORITE, was being in business with my friend Paula. I’ve mentioned her in a previous post. We met at just-the-right-time, before both going through devastating life experiences. After the dust had barely settled, we started a business. Paula was the artist and I was the business part. We began selling hand-painted flower pots. I painted the base coat and she did the design work. She was amazing! We expanded when I learned how to make candles and made them in the painted flower pots (I also learned the meaning of Flashpoint!) 🙂 We presented at many, many craft shows, home shows and local farmers markets. We met the neatest people. We laughed. Oh how we laughed. We experienced much! We studied together and we prayed together. And I think we actually made a bit of money!
Each of these jobs, these bits of life experiences have planted seeds within me and have contributed to who I am today. I’ve met and befriended such a variety of people and have learned quite a few different trades. I’ve come to appreciate all classes of people as well as positions. We are indeed all parts of the body! As the Bible talks about us being parts of the body making up the whole, the workplace is a solid example. Everyone needs to hold up their end to finish strong.
I always thought if I needed a job, well, I could always type!
Along came computers and keyboards and keyboarding learned in elementary school. Do folks even have secretaries anymore? I’m not worried. With a boost in my self-esteem, I could always try Avon again!