I first saw the #firstsevenjobs meme on Facebook. It was interesting to see the beginnings of my friends' careers. Then it almost made me feel embarrassed about my own first jobs. I started working out of a desire to earn my own money when I was 16. But soon I saw tweets and articles about other peoples' paths and it made me realize we all have different beginnings.
It wasn't until my 8th job that I finally began working toward my actual career and not just random jobs. Here's how I got my start:
1. Panera Bread - My first job was across the street from my high school. I was 16 and had a burning desire to bring home my own money to spend how I wanted. I worked after school and on the weekends, doing everything from making sandwiches to setting up the bakery display.
2. Hair salon receptionist - When my mom's hair stylist told me their salon was looking for help at the front desk, I jumped at the opportunity. I greeted guests, took payments, scheduled the stylists appointments, cleaned the salon, and acted as a guinea pig for new hair colors and styles.
3. Waldenbooks/Borders - After I graduated from high school I needed a job that would allow me to work more and around my college classes. I'd always loved books and being a bookseller was a great job for me. Once, before the mall opened, Joey Fatone from NSYNC visited the store looking for a gift for his mom. I think it may have been for Christmas? I helped him pick one out and rang him up.
4. Walt Disney World - I only worked at Disney for a month. I worked as a seasonal employee and never knew when I'd have my next shift. It was beginning to ruin the magic of Disney for me, so I moved on to another theme park.
5. SeaWorld - This was probably one of my favorite jobs! I loved working at SeaWorld. I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding the park these days, but I worked in a variety of roles there and only saw passion for wildlife and rehabilitation.
6. Marshalls - After I moved to St. Augustine to finish college, I started working at Marshalls in the shoe department. I set merchandise displays and kept the shelves stocked. It was a fun job with an interesting group of people. Then a manager was caught stealing money from the registers and things changed. Lots of the management left and one of them asked me to come work for him at a Goodwill store where he was a new manager.
7. Goodwill - Finally, my last college job! This is probably the weirdest, most bizarre job I had. People donate very...erm, inappropriate things a lot. Also nasty stuff. It was also kinda fun in that it spurred my love of thrifting and I brought home lots of cool things.
And that's my list of super random high school and college jobs. I jumped around a lot to pay the bills and appreciate the stability of my career more than ever now. What were your first seven jobs?