By Samantha McKenzie
Make a list of every job you’ve held. Then post it on your refrigerator for your friends and family to see. Make sure the list is big enough for your children to read as well. If you’re bold enough, post it on your social media page and let others see. Make it a conversation piece.
I attended a conference last week and one of the speakers had a slide of all of the jobs he’s held. The list included his early days when he did odd jobs in the neighborhood and his stint as a factory worker. As the list continued, it showed his progression through the years. He’d later go on to become a professional basketball player, vice chancellor, author, minister and motivational speaker.
I admired his list and the reason why he chose to share it. It told a story of humble beginnings, of growth and of choices.
Sometimes we see people who are successful and have no idea where they came from. We tend to think that they’ve always been well spoken or well dressed and that maybe life was made easy for them. We don’t usually think that they had to make tough choices just like the rest of us.
So unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you have held many, many jobs to get where you are today. Each job I have ever held has taught me something valuable and has made me the type of person I am today.
My list goes like this…
- Neighborhood babysitter. I learned to be responsible for others.
- Hair stylist (braiding). I learned how to be detailed and creative.
- Cashier at a five-and-dime store.I learned that time is money and money is time.
- Data entry associate. I learned to type at 94 wpm.
- Administrative Assistant. I learned how to cater to my manager and multitask.
- Customer Service Representative. I learned that people were spoiled and privileged and arrogant. I learned how to quit.
- Copy editor. I learned to find errors in the written copy, quickly. Very quickly.
- Reporter. I learned how to write on deadline and how to get people to open up and tell me their business.
- Teacher. I learned that teaching was a real skill and I wasn’t that good at it.
- Public Relations Coordinator. I learned to take my people skills to another level.
- Special Events Manager. I learned to create checklists and more checklists. I learned that Murphy’s Law is true.
- Media Relations Director. I learned that I could speak two languages. I understood the media and I understood the client.
- Director of Marketing and Communications. I learned the art of branding.
- Writer. I learned that writing was still my first love. I would do it for free.
- Entrepreneur. I am learning the difficult side of starting a business.
This list helps me paint a picture of all of the places I’ve been in my career. It helps me remember a time in my life when I didn’t know much about anything. I learned to listen, to open myself up to criticism and to learn from my mistakes.
I hope to keep adding to this list. I hope to keep growing.