I’ve had no fewer than 18 jobs in my lifetime – and I’m only in my 30s! I’ve earned money as a babysitter, garden-waterer, dog sitter, cat sitter, lawyer’s assistant, restaurant milk shake maker, research assistant, sales associate, restaurant reviewer, music critic, music writer, musician, reporter, columnist, blogger, freelance writer, event organizer, and social media consultant. One of these jobs I abhorred. Two of them I loved.
What are the best and the worst jobs you’ve had?
Best Job – Tie between working as a reporter and as a blogger. My reporter’s badge was a passport into other people’s lives. It still amazes me that I could knock on a stranger’s door, tell them my name and what newspaper I worked for, and they would invite me into their living room. Ten minutes later, I knew things about them that their children didn’t know.
As a reporter, I stepped into immaculate, sprawling homes, and I spent time in homes where people slept on bare mattresses. I talked to people who were famous for 15 minutes, and to mothers whose children had just been killed. I contributed to stories that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage, and I wrote an obituary about a woman who loved to read. I was sent to Tennessee with a few hours notice to track down a grieving mother accused of murdering her severely disabled daughter. And I wrote about more airplane and motorcycle crashes than I care to remember.
My job as a blogger has been just as challenging and exciting. I discovered my true writing voice and I learned to set my own work schedule. I’ve managed a team of writers, and developed business skills to ensure a paycheck. After being in charge for so long, it’s hard to imagine NOT working for myself.
Worst Job – I walked into my new boss’s office on my first day of being a lawyer’s assistant and got a welcome speech that almost made me quit. My boss the lawyer told me flat out, “I don’t do this job because I like it. I do it because it gives my family a comfortable life.”
How cruel! To spend eight hours a day – or more – at a job you hated?! And yet, this lawyer knew that and he continued to practice law. He made it clear that making a lot of money was more important than pursuing a satisfying career. I was mystified.
I resolved to do work that I enjoyed. Forty hours a week was too much of my life to waste on something I hated.