My First 10 Jobs

I read a forum post the other day in which the original poster shared all of his jobs and then others continued the thread with lists of their jobs. I found the thread interesting and decided I would share all of my jobs on this blog. I’ve probably had about 100 jobs and I don’t think I can remember them all. I will start with my first 10 jobs and post the rest of my jobs in later posts. I will use a broad definition of job for this series of post. I’m trying to post the jobs chronologically but there is some overlap between jobs and I can’t always remember exactly when I had a particular job.

Job 1 – Mowing lawns, yard work, etc. My brother and I would mow lawns and occasionally do other yard work around our neighborhood. I think we got $8-$10 for a lawn and we had to split that so it wasn’t much money. The lawn mower and gas was provided free by our parents so at least our expenses were low.

Job 2- Trap Machine Loader. I worked for a local trap shooting range when they would have their big annual trap and skeet shooting tournament. I sat in a little bunker in front of the shooters and loaded clay targets on the trap shooting machine. The machine shot out the targets very quickly and I was always worried about getting my hand hit by the machine. That never happened, but as I think back it is surprising that they let me work there when I was 14 years old. That probably doesn’t happen now. I can’t remember what this job paid. I think it was a flat rate per day and it seemed like a lot of money to me at the time although I’m sure it wasn’t much.

Job 3 – Dishwasher. This was my first real job. It paid minimum wage. I got this job when I was 15 years old. Not because I wanted to, but because my mom made me get a job. She didn’t think a 15 year old should be sitting around the house all summer. I disagreed. I was fired after two weeks. My mother’s attempt to instill a work ethic in me did not work.

Job 4 – Cleaner/Janitor. I worked with my best friend cleaning buildings at a church camp during the summer and the first few weekends of fall. I worked two summers at this job. This job paid minimum wage. I got to work with my best friend and we worked unsupervised so I really liked this job.

Job 5 – Picker/Packer. I worked at a warehouse picking lawn mower parts from the shelves and then packing the order to be shipped. I think this job also paid minimum wage. I was going to work both this job and the cleaning job during the summer, but got laid off from this job right before summer started. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to making sooo much money. This company went out of business the next year so I guess they really couldn’t afford to keep me over the summer.

Job 6 – Amusement Park Worker. I worked this job the summer before I started college and the first few weekends after I started college. The pay was minimum wage or slightly above it. The job did come with the fringe benefit of free amusement park admission which I did like and I managed to get some roller coaster rides in on my days off. I worked in the carnival games department. The games weren’t rigged, they were just incredibly hard to win. The main drawback of this job was that there was a 45 minute loop of songs that played continuously and it was the same songs the entire time. I was really sick of every song in that loop by the time the job ended.

Job 7 – Mcdonalds. It was probably inevitable that I would work at Mcdonalds at some point. This was my first job after dropping out of college. I hated it and quit after one night. My mom was not happy.

Job 8 – Grocery Store stocker. I got this job a few days after quitting at McDs. I liked this job a lot better. I had my own section of the store that I was responsible for stocking the shelves and pricing the products. This was a long time ago when you actually had to put the prices on the product because most stores didn’t have bar code scanners. I also helped out bagging groceries and cleaning. This wasn’t a bad job, but once again the pay wasn’t much and I didn’t see how I would ever be able to save enough money to go back to college so I made a big change.

Job 9 – U.S. Army. I didn’t really want to join the Army, but I didn’t see any other way out of where I was at. The plan was to serve in the Army for a couple of years and then have the military pay for my college when I got out. This plan was a miserable failure. I never even made it to basic training. I was not physically or mentally equipped to handle the army. After two and a half months I was kicked out for failing to meet the physical standards.

Job 10 – Movie theater Concessions. After the army I returned to the grocery store job for a few months. When my mom moved to Kansas City, I quit the grocery store job and moved too. I worked a few shifts at the amusement park I had previously worked at, but they had already hired for all their full-time positions. It was a month or so before I got this job and I was somewhat depressed from my previous failures so I was very happy to get this job. It paid minimum wage which I think was $3.35 an hour at that time. It came with the fringe benefits of free popcorn and soda while working and free movies on my days off. I’ve always loved the movies so this was like a dream job for me. The theater was located in the mall and I lived within walking distance of the mall plus two other theaters located near the mall. I spent a lot time at the movies and the mall and really enjoyed that summer. I liked this job, but once again the pay was a problem. Even living at home and not having to pay rent I didn’t make enough to save money to pay for college.

That gets me to age 19 and I don’t think I’ve missed any jobs yet. Can you remember all of your jobs?

17 thoughts on “My First 10 Jobs”

  1. One of my first jobs was driving a Mr. Softy Ice Cream truck. All the ice cream I could eat as long as the truck made a profit. I did it after my freshman year at college and only one summer.

  2. My very fist job was working for m parents. My fir st real job was a door to door salesman, ceramic sprayer camp handyman and inventory clerk . My next jobs were professional ones following college.

  3. Babysitter — what most young girls start out doing.

    Then I worked at a hardware store all through high school, as well as some college breaks.

    College: pick-your-own apple stand (I also trimmed trees in the orchard)
    secretary for a CPA
    college professor (really – I taught ENG291 – Children’s Literature)
    slave in the cafeteria (including working in the ‘pit’ washing dishes, making ice cream and cracking dozens of eggs on Sunday mornings)
    backpacking/rock climbing instructor
    au pair/household help with my cousins living in Austria
    (I also learned German and did some traveling)
    installing lightning rods on a university gymnasium (one college break)

    Most of these were temp jobs, lasting a year or two. The backpacking job was 2 summers.
    ‘But then, I’ve always believed that the more jobs I’ve tried, the better writer I would become. Hopefully it’s worked.

  4. Wow, that’s a quite big list of jobs. I do not remember all of them but I started as a tutor for my neighbor’s kid. Went on as a cashier in a local store and finally ended up as a teacher. Now quit my regular 9 to 5 job and have entered into blogging

  5. I have actually only worked for 4 companies. But in that time, I have had 10 jobs. With my current company, every position I have had was eventually outsourced or eliminated. Fortunately, I made a move before it happened to me OR I was retained. Getting a little nervous about my current spot as I have had this position for 6 years now. 🙂

    • It is good that you have been able to stay at the same company for so long and were able to switch before your positions were eliminated. Hopefully, the current job will last a while.

  6. That’s a lot of jobs by the age of 19. I was lucky and had an aunt and uncle that owned a retail store, so I was able to work there throughout high school and even during some college breaks. I had a few jobs while at college, like RA, tour guide, and computer lab rat.

    The McDonald’s story cracked me up. It reminded me of a friend who got a job in the women’s shoe department at Macy’s. He went longer than you did, but one day he went out during his break, and just didn’t come back. Ever. Totally unprofessional but hilarious nonetheless.

    • Having the job with your aunt and uncle sounds like a good deal for when you’re starting working.

      Sometimes, one day is all you need to know that a job isn’t for you.


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