Thursday, March 23, 2017

All of the jobs I've had since age 15 and the pros and cons of each

Hey kids, trying to figure out what to do with your life? Can't decide which career to pursue? Well, here's a handy list of possibilities, all of which I've done in my life and most of which at least provided a living wage so that my family didn't starve. Which is a plus.

Dishwasher in an Italian restaurant (1985)
PRO: Free food.
CON: It turns out there are a LOT of dishes to wash in an Italian restaurant.

Wendy's employee (1986)
PRO: Free food (whether or not it was supposed to be free).
CON: Drunks who came through the drive-thru at 2:35 a.m. after the bars closed and thought they were hilarious when they ordered a Big Mac.

Newspaper sports department clerk (1988-90)
PRO: The thrill of deadline, helping to put out an award-winning sports section every night and getting paid for it while still in college.
CON: No free food.

Newspaper sports writer (1991-96)
PRO: See the "PRO" entry under "Newspaper sports department clerk" above.
CON: When they ask how much money you make, people can hear in your voice the implied quotes when you talk about your "salary."

Health insurance plan document writer (1996-97)
PRO: Each day would eventually end.
CON: Each day would inevitably begin.
(NOTE: In all fairness, this was with a very solid, reputable organization. It just wasn't a job that fit me especially well.)

Managing editor for a urology-themed trade newspaper (1997-99)
PRO: Urologists are hilarious. Seriously, some of the funniest people I ever worked with.
CON: Almost everything you write and talk about in the course of a normal work day involves penises, prostates and assorted old person problems.

Hospital public relations guy (1999-2002)
PRO: Being in the operating room and getting to tell stories about amazing research and clinical care at one of the finest academic medical institutions in the world.
CON: Lots of blood, some of it not your own.

Public relations agency account executive/vice president (2002-06)
PRO: Travel to many cool places.
CON: Travel to many cool places while your kids are little and your poor, pregnant wife is stuck at home.

Community foundation public affairs representative (2006-11)
PRO: Some of the nicest, coolest, most talented colleagues I've ever had.
CON: It's amazing how much people hate you when all you're trying to do is give away money.

Tech-oriented nonprofit marketing and communications VP (2011-13)
PRO: Broadband access is fascinating.
CON: Startlingly few people care about broadband access.

Unemployed guy (2013)
PRO: No work!
CON: No paycheck!

Blender company director of communications (2013-present)
PRO: There's always food here.
CON: There's always food here.

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