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The Story of the 9 Career Paths

July 21, 2012

They* say that us millennials will have nine careers in our lifetime. I’m 26 and I already have. At camp #1 this summer, one of the other instructors would mention something and I would say, “Oh, I had a job doing ____ once.” The director said, “Renee, you’ve had a lot of odd jobs.” Yes. Yes I have. Here they are.

1. Singer/Actress – Okay, this was never technically a job, but I actively took voice lessons for almost 10 years and was a theatre major for 2 years. Like many teens with a knack for the stage, I had my sights set on Broadway. You know Rachel Berry in Glee? That was me, circa 2004.

2. Residential Computer Consultant – I worked on students’ computers when I was at Saint Mary’s. I considered going into IT. My boss was a great role model.

3. Substitute teacher/camp counselor – I was a sub at my mom’s school for a bit. It inspired me to go into education. In fact, I applied to get a second Bachelor’s degree in education in 2009, but when I realized it would take me six years part-time to get certified to teach high school social studies, I decided I might as well just do graduate school.

4. Cafe manager – I had delusions of grandeur with this job. I thought I’d become a fancy pants barista, compete in barista competitions (a real thing), and then the Food Network would hire me to do a show about artisan roasted coffee. I mean, they probably should still hire me for that show, but I no longer want to be a fancy pants barista. They’re snotty.

5. Political campaigner – I worked for a Congressional campaign in 2008. It was alright. I loved it some of the time, but the hours were horrid.

6. Congressional aide – I saw two sides of this. As a Congressional intern in the district office, I saw a lot of social-work-type issues come through, and I really dug that. I think I would’ve been a killer social worker. But when I was hired on as a staffer, I was mostly just in charge of the Congresswoman’s schedule and answering the phone, taking messages, ordering supplies, etc. It was grunt work, when I really wanted to be out and about helping people.

7. Writer/Freelancer – Oh, I’ve always considered this blog and my work with 20sb as a bit of a part-time job. And I’ve always fantasized about how to turn it into a full-time career. But I’m just not passionate about marketing whatsoever, so I figure why bother.

8. Waitress – Yup, I thought I could make a career out of this for hot second. I mean, I could blog on the side and wait tables in the evening. What could be bad about that? Answer: EVERYTHING.

9. Instructor/Professor? – Luckily, I’ve found my calling. As a public speaking instructor, I get to implement a lot of the skills I’ve learned in my previous career paths (and I’ve learned teaching college freshmen is not unlike teaching 6th grade campers), and as a grad student/academic, I get to study some of the other interests I’ve developed through my career paths more in-depth. I get to interrogate technology that I learned to love as a Residential Computer Consultant and I get to intellectually dabble in my former political world.

How many career paths have you seriously considered? Are you on the right one?

*I’m not sure who “they” are, or where I heard this statistic, but just go with it.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2012 9:56 am

    I’ve considered a lot of careers. Currently, I am a teacher and I shoot freelance photography. I think that through teaching Creative Writing/Journalism/English and doing photography, I have found a way to merge all of my crazy dreams into one. I still long to be a published writer in my own right, and I hope I can write a book one day soon. I would also love to travel, but that isn’t really a career unless you make it be one.

    You have had a lot of jobs, but I think they’ve all led you to where you want to be. I have a similar resume of odd jobs and I think every single one taught me valuable skills that I still use today.

  2. July 21, 2012 9:58 am

    When I was at SMC, I think I was in more majors/minors than I wasn’t in. Departments I was in include: Anthropology, Biology, Business, Communications, Education, English Literature, English Writing, Humanistic Studies, German, Italian, Math, Philosophy, Psychology, Religious Studies, Theatre… I think there were more, but that’s what I can remember. When I was a junior, I was getting emails from the Education, Communications, Humanistic Studies, and Psychology departments, as though they all thought I would be graduating with those majors. In the end, I graduated with a theatre minor… and just a few credits short of minors in Psychology, Religious Studies, and Humanistic Studies (I think I needed one more class for RS, and two classes for the other two).

  3. July 21, 2012 11:08 am

    So far there’s I’ve had eight – tutor, insurance underwriter (every bit as bad an idea as it sounds), freelance photographer, homeless officer, political campaigner, debt counsellor, writer, lawyer (what I’m doing now).
    If I’ve only got one left I’m going to have to put some serious thought into it. Need to make it a good one if it has to last me the next forty years.

  4. July 21, 2012 3:11 pm

    I’ve had a few different kinds of jobs, including working in the restaurant business, working in retail, working in student life (loved it), working in higher ed admin (did not love it), working in fundraising, and most recently, being a grantwriter, which is what I love most of all.

  5. July 21, 2012 9:18 pm

    I’ve had a number of jobs, too. High school me wanted to be a hoity toity radio DJ. Luckily, 3 years in radio was all I needed to see I needed more in life. I’ve been a transcriptionist, camp counselor (we’re twinsies!), computer salesperson, interpreter, and now speech pathologist. I love that I have two careers now (interpreting and speech), and enjoy them both immensely.

  6. July 31, 2012 12:19 am

    I really hope I’m on the right one now, or at least on a good one! I’ve done HR, Photography, disability coordinating, sporadic writing, tutoring, waiting tables/food prep, and babysitting. Good times!

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