The Work Cow Mug of Awesomeness!

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. 

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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?