I am 24. At times, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in my short career. Then, I’ll read or see people younger than me a lot farther down their career path. I know you’re not suppose to compare, but I can’t help it. I’ve had a completely different journey, especially post-college, than I could have ever imagined. I’ve dreamt of a magazine job for so long, I can’t imagine another type of job. So I was a little surprised when I read that one should have SIX different type of jobs before 30 to create a well-rounded applicant, and that excludes temporary and freelance positions. I wondered how I compared to this list:
1. “A Service Job”
Aside from journalism gigs, all my jobs have fallen under this category. My first job my freshman year of college was being a student assistant in the College of Communication. Ever since, I’ve been “assisting” others. Through working in a service job, I’m suppose to learn how to deal with people when they are not at their best – Check!
2. “A Job in Which You’re Forced to Clean”
I worked at a dry cleaners for more than a year. And, yes, many people don’t care about the condition of clothes when they come into the plant, only when they left. I had a man yell at me because the shirt he brought in that was soaked in spilt coffee didn’t completely come out. I absolutely believe this job made me more respectful of working together as a community.
I also had a boss who threw away his lunch (yogurt and banana peel) in his trash and made me throw it out. We reused trash bags, so many times I had to reach down and grab the sticky yogurt top. Now, I am always conscience of what (and how) I throw away. – Check!
I’m more of dog person. So, I probably won’t be babysitting. But, when I was working at the cleaners, I oversaw four high school seniors. Trust me, this counts. – Check!
4. “A Job Working for your Parents”
I’m suppose to learn “separating the personal from the professional” when my parents get me a job. Honestly, I don’t like this one. My family is in transportation, and I have absolutely zero interest in the field. – Fail
5. “Physical Labor”
I worked in retail at a home store. I was on the store maintenance crew and every other day, we would arrive at 5 a.m. to restock the shelves. We may have had air conditioning, but it was definitely intense. It was a four-hour cardio class. We ran around the store, hurrying to have everything set by 9 a.m. It might not be traditional physical labor, but the pain I felt after my first day taught me this lesson. – Check!
6. “A Job Totally Unrelated to Your Career Goals”
Wait, you mean my current situation? – Check!
I think a seventh category can be added to the list, “Work for free.” In my current internship, I’ve learned how much I love what I do. I’m working for free, not sure what my step will be, and loving every moment.
It is interesting to look at past jobs and reflect on my experiences. Although I might have a different “ideal” path, I’m happy to learn that I did learn something from all my previous employers, if not for future employment, at least for personal reasons. And, who knows, by the time I find a full-time staff position, I may cycle through all six categories and then some!