I remember as a child I wanted to be an artist. I had my heart set on creating beautiful pieces that people would admire and talk about. At one point, I even wanted to work at Disney, because they had wonderful artists that made movies come to life (mind you, I was 7 then and was madly in love The Little Mermaid movie). But my career aspirations have change since. In fact, where I envisioned myself working has changed a few times as I was propelling towards adulthood. Even after adulthood, my aspirations changed. I find myself at times thinking about all the odd jobs I’ve had — whether working through school, or just working through life — I don’t think I ever really saw myself having my own business. Maybe because I thought it was an arrogant notion, or maybe because I thought that only certain people got to live those kinds of lives. Whatever the reason, I laugh thinking about all the odd jobs I took on and how they seem so disconnected from where I am now.
How they seemed disconnected…
- I definitely did the baby-sitting thing a few times. Probably why I’m not so fond of kids now.
- I tutored. I think some of my friends would laugh if they knew that.
- I worked as an inventory taker, which was a sporadic job that only offered the night shift.
- I worked on campus at one point as a student evaluator. I got to grade the services that were provided to students on campus. Not too shabby.
- I worked as an Administrative Assistant. Yeah, that title always sounds fancier than what it really is.
- I also worked as a General Office Clerk. Very similar to an administrative assistant without the fancy name.
- I was an assembly line person for a local newspaper near the university I attended. Got to put the paper together. That too was a another night shift job on a fully loaded academic schedule.
- I was a banquet server. For like SIX WEEKS! Although I never dropped a dish, I was always afraid I was going that one day where I would spill something hot and steaming on a guest. I nipped that fear in the bud… by leaving.
- One of my longest gigs in my early 20s was when I worked at a department store. I was the men’s fragrance lady. Yeah. I sold men fragrances. By the way, men don’t buy fragrances nearly as often as women do.
- I worked as some kind of personal assistant. I say it like that because the job and title weren’t definitive, but I definitely was helping out someone with a lot of personal issues.
- I had another gig with no real title or definitive description — I assisted a woman who owned her own graphic design business, by standing around and watching her put things away. Her idea.
- I worked as a remote Marketing Assistant for a real estate couple. A little a fun, a little mundane, but one of the more interesting works.
- Had my share of volunteering as well: local city campaigns here in Los Angeles, volunteered with the Central Station of the LAPD — now, THAT was exciting and if you want stories, you gotta email me. And I also volunteered as a Reading Tutor for the LA Public Library’s literacy program for adult learners. If you have the heart and mind of making a difference, start in that neck of the woods.
Kind of a hefty list if you knew the time frame those jobs all took place under. But the one thing I gathered when I compiled this list for myself years ago strategizing my business plan, was that I tend to work and volunteer in positions of assistance. Not because those simply were the only jobs available, but because that’s where I excel at. I excel in helping others excel. My service is to be of service. It’s not a coincidence that my business rests on my personal strengths, as they should for any business owner. It’s just me finally meeting up where I was suppose to be.
What odd jobs have you worked that actually gave you a hidden skill?