A few weeks ago on Twitter there was a hashtag about your first 7 jobs.
It got me to thinking about all the different things I have done since (and some before) I left school.
My very first job was at 16. I worked as a sales person in a toy store. It was a small independent store and my mom had also worked in the store when I was growing up. I seem to recall working there until matric and not working during that final year of school.
My first job after graduating was at the Health & Racquet Club in Sandton. I was employed as a receptionist. I eventually became reception manager and a part time club manager.
I worked there for a year and a half before going to Israel for 8 months to live on a kibbutz. For the first 6 months on the kibbutz I worked in a plant nursery, grafting cuttings, transplanting seedlings and getting plants ready for sale. I also spent 2 months working in the dining room and kitchen.
When I came back I attempted to work at what was still Health & Racquet but about to become Virgin Active. I couldn’t get a reception job but I did get a job as a sales consultant. This was the first step to realising I really, really am not cut out for sales, especially cold calling.
I think I lasted 2 months at the sales job. I then got a job as a waitress at a local deli/diner. It was a small-ish place serving Jewish style home cooked foods. It was great, I loved the people I worked with and we had fun. Except I’m really, really not cut out to be a waitress. I am too forgetful and too clumsy. That job lasted about 6 months.
My next job was my first corporate position. I started off working as a receptionist for a financial services company. After 6 months or so, the company started a new medical aid division and I was promoted to administrator for the division. I worked there for another 2 and a half years. We worked with a lot of corporate clients and somewhere around the 2nd year one of the clients gave me a gift basket as a thank you. In that gift basket was the Work Cow Mug of Awesomeness. That mug has come with me from job to job for the last 15 years.
My next job was as the personal assistant to the owners of a digital archiving company. I worked there for 3 years. I really enjoyed working there but the pressure of working for 2 people both very different (and realistic) ideas of what was a priority became a bit too much for me. I decided that I wanted to go back to working in administration, behind the scenes. This was the first and only time that I resigned from a job without a new job lined up.
I didn’t need to worry though. My very first interview was a success and I had a new job lined up within a week of resigning. The new job was administration for a Jewish charity organisation that raises funds both for Israel and for the local community. Purely back office, no interacting with donors. I worked there for 7 years and loved every minute of it.
After 7 years I needed a change and I found that in another community organisation. I was still doing administration but I had more contact with clients and I was ‘looking after’ 6 of our consultants. This was by far the easiest job I have ever done, not because the work was easy, but because our office was a family. We had fun, played pranks on each other, worked our arses off, had Whiskey Fridays and just generally had each others backs. I could see myself working there for many years to come.
And then we made the decision to move to Israel, to come home. Handing in my resignation 11 months after I started working there was the hardest, most gut wrenching thing I have done in my working life. I cried. I never cry!
We came to Israel with no jobs, even though we had submitted our CV’s, there was not even an interview lined up. I was extremely lucky to get an interview within a few weeks of arriving here and even more lucky to land the job I have now. I’ve been working here for almost 18 months and I love it. I’m back to being behind the scenes working on the data side of our website, I have a fantastic team of colleagues and an awesome boss.
I also have the Work Cow Mug of Awesomeness. I initially wanted to bring my mug with me on the plane, but I was scared it would get broken in our luggage so I reluctantly packed it up with the rest of our household things and sent it over the ocean with our lift. It only arrived in Israel 3 months after I started working and it was one of the first things I unpacked. I brought it in to work with me the next day and it really wasn’t until I had made my first cup of tea in it that I truly felt at home in my office.
What jobs have you done and do you have anything special that’s traveled from job to job with you?