Friday, November 22, 2019

34 Jobs in 24 Years

UPDATE: 2 jobs were omitted due to lack of memory. I was a sandwich artists at Potbelly in downtown Chicago, as well as another sales stint in a Pier 1 in Lincoln Park. I vaguely remember a data entry job in Peoria, too. So it's actually "37 Jobs in 24 Years"
Here I am at almost 40 years old with no career.

In my last post I wrote that I my life goal was to: "Figure out a way to pay for all of Dan’s medical needs. Like, LEGIT. Not 5 year payment plans. :( "

As an update: I closed the gift box studio (Cardinal + Finch) and picked up a part time gig as a barista at Washington's coffeeshop The Blend. We are also looking into sending me to graduate school but I am having a hard time as I think about my options.

My priority is continuing my education with something I am passionate about but also that will lead to a career, not just a "job." Sorting this out is tricky though because my undergraduate studies were in both Art and Writing... I was always divided by both interests. It took me 10 years to get my degree because I changed schools (and moved) three times and changed my major over and over again. The final degree was in English Literature and Writing. And honestly, those studies and the degree don't exactly scream job opportunities...

And then here is the thing: I am 39 and started working at 15. So in 24 years I have had 34 jobs, including freelance and owning a business (3 different times).

To review:

Video store clerk (first job and the store closed 1 month later)
Pharmacy/gift store cashier
Video tech assistant at school
On-call driver (this was a real thing at my college!)
Movie theater cashier and popcorn popper
Janitor for a bank
Resident assistant at Goshen College
Office assistant
Public relations intern at Goshen College
Hallmark sales associate
Freelance graphic designer
Restaurant hostess at two different Pizzeria Unos
Activities leader at a day program for adults with mental disorders
Sales associate at two different stationary shops
Sales associate at a baby boutique
Store manager at a different baby boutique
Pier 1 sales associate for 1 day
J Crew outlet sales associate
World Market sales associate
Technical assistant at an insurance brokerage
Literary magazine editor internship
Web designer for literary magazine
Boutique store manager
Boutique and wine bar cashier
Social media assistant to restaurant
Owner/sales rep of Lularoe by Leah Ruth
Owner/graphic designer of Herzing Design House
Customer service clerk at HyVee
Office assistant/receptionist at Peoria Symphony
Patron services manager at the symphony
Flower delivery driver
Owner/designer of gift box business, Cardinal + Finch
Freelance graphic designer

That list is so crazy I don't even feel like it helps me.

Graduate studies I'm considering are: Art History/Library Science or Creative Writing. Assuming I would be accepted. CW is a path to teaching, AH is a path to archive work.

Friends, what do I do???


  1. First of, you may not have a "career" on paper but you're a good human and devoted to your family. You are amazing. I not only don't have a college degree because of becoming a military wife before the age of online schooling, but I started freelancing and accepting pennies on the word for my writing - with a kid on my tit to boot! My peers have B.S. and B.A. degrees, some have masters but guess what? I've made as much as or more than some of them. If you are a writer or have talent in that regard for design, your degree only takes you so far. In fact, it can inhibit creativity (and many many companies I have met with get this!) Before landing my current role which allowed me to care for my four children as a single mom and own my own house, I applied for and got interviewed by more than one company. They don't care as long as your resume looks good. I worked for a resume company a couple years ago part time and really, it's all in the sell. Trust me! You can cherry pick what sounds good and use your cover letter to briefly explain any gaps on your resume that don't apply to the position. You could write content, social media, or design any day, and most companies want someone like you who can do a bit of it all. And now lots of it is remote work -- even better. I hope this encourages you and feel free to reach out!

  2. Well being a manager basically means you can be a manager anywhere because you have “experience “. So that’s a plus. I’m almost 35 and haven’t had a career either.