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There has been a trend on Twitter this week to post five jobs you’ve had. Like many people I’m sure, I often think about what my responses to social media trends would be but rarely post them. However, this week I thought I’d blog about them, as I have been reflecting not just on what my jobs were but what I learnt from them.
1. Courgette planter – my very first job for a local market gardener. It was back-breaking work and not ideal for someone as sensitive to the sun as me, but it was a huge first step to independence. I learnt how it felt to earn money myself and not be wholly dependent on someone else (50p per hour in case you were wondering…).
2. Babysitter – apart from learning how to get children to sleep, I also learnt a lot about keeping open fires going. I remember having to burn some GCSE biology notes one night to restart a dying fire without firelighters.
3. Working for my parents – because they were self-employed, it was easy for them to offer me ‘paid’ work, so this is where I started to learn basic admin skills – typing, placing orders, processing invoices and even how to do a VAT return.
4. Fast food chain crew member – as a student, I was desperate to stay at university over the summer and this was the only job I could find. Needless to say I only lasted seven weeks. I discovered that I could never work in a kitchen as I really, really hated being shouted at. Even though I was actually very good at the job, as I was quick and organised, every time someone shouted an order at me I felt like I was being told off!
5. Chambermaid – this is probably my all time favourite ‘pre-career’ job. I’d left university and was waiting to go into the Police (that’s another whole story…). I can honestly say I learnt loads – mainly about customer service and consistency of standards and presentation.
At the time, each of these jobs felt like a new adventure, and certainly in the early days made me feel grown up – I was doing what I saw my parents and older siblings doing. I realise how lucky I was to have role models to help me develop a positive work ethos.
I’m in a job now where every day can feel like a new adventure – the breadth of my role is the thing I love about it the most. Here are five jobs I’ve had this week:
2. Theatre producer & programmer
3. Event organiser
4. PR manager
5. Boat steward
Things I’ve learnt about this week include the benefits of a structured timetable for writing fundraising bids, the intricacies of licensing babies for performance, the social media reach of MPs and wind ratings for gazebos.
It is easy to look back and reflect on what you have learnt, but much harder to look ahead and see what you might need or want to learn from roles you take on. I started the year wanting to learn more, so over the next few weeks I’m going to think about that a bit more. Maybe ‘Five things I want to learn’ should be the next Twitter trend…