After graduating college (age 21) I worked the following jobs:
- Film Projection specialist at a movie theater
- Television writer at a children’s show
- Theater producer
- Art/Gymnastics teacher
- Collections agent
- Administrative assistant
It took me seven (7) career changes to get to what I wanted to do, which I didn’t figure out until I was 26ish. That’s averaging a more than job a year!
Here’s my thought on this: Quitting a job is depressing, irrational, and completely necessary
Fun lessons I learned:
1. ) Film Projectionist – If you’re doing a great job, no one notices. If you’re messing up you’re the fall-guy. Avoid these jobs like the plague
2.) Television writer – Easily the least-creative job I’ve ever done and after you calculate the number of hours you’ve worked, you’re making less than $5/hour.
3.) Theater Producer – As with most Not-for-Profits, raising money is 85% of the gig, 13% is managing personalities; 2% is producing art.
3.) Art/Gymnastics teacher – I learned almost all my conflict-management skills here. You’d be surprised how reasonable five-year-olds can be, versus their adult counterparts (especially parents)
4.) Bartender – The most boring job that exists. What I thought was a glamour gig for a young 20-something was really menial and stupid. If you have skills don’t do this.
5.) Collections agent (Revenue Management!)- If you run a small business, get good at collections. And it takes a lot to do it – cajoling, begging, demanding, threatening, etc.
6.) Administrative Assistant – If you’re sitting in meetings, meeting interesting people, and getting mentored this is great. If you’re running for coffee please quit ASAP.
Not-for-profits tend to be poorly run; corporate America has GREAT benefits but uninspiring that I think it’s…..intentionally so; and there are very few people in the any industry that really knows what their doing or how to manage people effectively. Working for corporations is a selfish world, people. It’s very often a selfish, short-sighted, incompetent world. Which is why I needed to keep quitting – I assumed that “no, no this isn’t how people really work. I’m just in a bad company/place/department/industry. I need to try something else…go where people are competent and like each other.” Grass was never greener.
Now, I don’t consider those gigs as a waste of time. I picked up valuable lessons all throughout. There are no detours in life – I carried a lot with me at DOM & TOM. Basically, don’t work with jerks, be respectful and humble enough to assign interesting projects to coworkers, and for the love of God don’t do boring.
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