Wait. How did that happen?

by Ninja on June 20, 2011 · 34 comments

I’ve always been told the best way to predict the future is by looking at the past.  Next time someone tells me that I’m going to kick them in the earlobe. I’ve had 11 jobs in the last eight years and there is virtually no continuity between them. See for yourself (note: some of these jobs were seasonal summer positions)….

  1. Assembled x-ray machine equipment in a factory
  2. Worked for my college campus’ student activities dept
  3. Kitchen cook at summer camp
  4. Director of student activities for college campus
  5. Ropes/outdoor activities guide at summer camp
  6. Jansport stickerer (put price stickers on backpacks for 8 hours)
  7. Pac-sun retail clerk
  8. Building manager for college campus building
  9. Background “extra” on Veronica Mars
  10. Psychiatric technician
  11. Special Agent/Blogger

Whoever said “You don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been” is a big fat liar. According to my work history I could end up being the next President of the United States or a male stripper.

Does this popular phrase apply to you? Take a second to list your career progression in the comments section below and let’s all laugh at how far (or not far) we’ve come over the years. Based off your history, what is your likely next position?

1 eemusings


Paper route girl
Cafe bitch
Call centre employee
Casual hospitality catering staff bitch
Cafe bitch
Admin assistant
Online content administrator
Online editor
Online editor

What next? I honestly have no idea…

2 Anonymous

First of all: you’ve earned my undying admiration…you were an extra on one of my all-time fave shows, Veronica Mars!!!

Salesgirl at Sears
Front counter at McDonald’s
Movie theater (concessions, usher, box office–everything)
Hippie t-shirt shop clerk
Bookstore (receiving clerk and bookseller, at two different bookstores)
Law office secretary/file clerk
Copy editor
Publication project manager
Multimedia proofreader/PM (and freelance copy editor/proofreader whenever possible)

3 Mysti

Baskin Robbins Cake Decorator
Office Assistant
Sold Time Share
Social Science Researcher
HR Specialist
Full Time Mom to special needs twins
Sold Dog Food
Office Manager

One day I will go back to teaching…but now is not the right time!

4 sameboatdifferentocean

This is a fun game…my list is so random that I have to keep a couple different resumes just so I don’t look schizophrenic:

Upscale restaurant bus girl
Bookstore sales rep
Member of Provincial Parliament constituency office caseworker
Social assistance (i.e. welfare) caseworker
Credit card pusher at Canadian Tire
Beginner ballet teacher
Summer programs coordinator for girls’ home
Boutique store salesperson
Telesales for accidental death insurance
ESL instructor (2 different places)

5 Jennifer

Babysitting (I know this isn’t really considered a “job”, but I used to bank so much money from this! We’re talking, $100 – $150 a night, and that was over 10 years ago!)
Pac Sun retail clerk 🙂
Subway sandwich maker
Basketball referee
FunFitTastic children’s fitness instructor
Home Depot customer service/paint associate
Applebee’s server
Country Club server
Private Tutor
Chemical Laboratory Technician
Graduate Student
Legal Assistant at a law firm
Mystery Shopper
Catering assistant
Chemical Engineering Project Engineer (current full time job – and I still do the mystery shopping and catering part time in addition to my full time job)

6 Mary M

Veronica Mars is still my hero.

7 Norman

Being President of the United States and male strippers have more in common than you realize. I’d rather be a male stripper, but I don’t have the body for it.

8 Lizilla

Busgirl/dishwasher/banquet staff
Ski Rental Shop
Worked at TJ Maxx
Worked at Border’s
Chemist for a Agriculture research Farm
Pharmaceutical Chemist
Environmental Chemist

9 Erin

Student Office Assistant
First Gen College Student Mentor
Civil Engineer

My list isn’t quite as impressive as the rest!

10 Rogue

Inventory specialist
Police Records Clerk
Mall Help desk
Game store
Toy store
Airport store
Adult retail
Phone Banker
Restaurant Cashier
Bank Teller

11 Beef

Mowed lawns
Paper route
Automotive parts warhouse runner
Dish washer
Compaq pc support
Yahoo dsl support
Isp support
Desktop support
System admin
Systems engineer

12 Mo D.

Over 25 yrs. full time in Customer Service realm, and many part time retail and waitressing jobs that I did in my younger days.

13 No Debt MBA

The past is actually a pretty good predictor of the future for me. I’m trending towards business though so wish me luck!

14 Lucy

Pizza maker at a small town shop
waitress at a Jerry’s J-Boy
waitress at Bonanza then Ponderosa (same place, changed names)
Christmas help at a toy store in the mall
temp at a factory making motors for appliances
back to Ponderosa, different town
sold vacuum cleaners
waitress back at Jerry’s
clerk at London Fog
assistant manager at another retail outlet store
packer at a distribution center
full time student
clerk at a Quilts, Int’l retail store
factory job making magazines
Lowe’s – cashier, head cashier, customer service, auditor
Accounts receivable clerk at a manufacturing company
Supervisor at a bookstore
Acct Mgr at same bookstore on a college campus

Next job will for sure be on same campus. I have a lot of time put in so far…. retirement and benefits are awesome.

15 psycharah

Babysitter (starting at age 11)
Piano Teacher (age 13-19)
Office Temp (high school summer gigs)
Cashier (various retail stores during high school/undergrad)
Teaching Assistant (undergrad)
Employment Counselor (summer co-op, undergrad)
Research Assistant (summer co-op, undergrad)
Teaching Assistant (grad school)
Telemarketer (worst gig ever bar none)
Research Assistant (grad school)
Psychology Resident
Psychology Professional Practice Leader for my agency

After all the crappy jobs I had to do to get through lots of school, I’ve been happy with my progress in the last 3.5 years since completing my training. I am now supervising others, doing clinical work etc. I don’t know what’s next really. I’m going on mat leave, so I’m getting a promotion to Mom soon 🙂 Hopefully one day I’ll have more administrative roles to balance out the clinica work. That would make me happy for a long time I’d say.

16 boomey

– picked raspberries
– short order cook in a cafeteria
– warehouse receiving
– customs/border agent
– processed applications for the transport of hazardous materials
– processed termination letters and generated re-hire letters for HarbourMasters at Small Craft Harbours, also translated letters from French to English and vice versa
– collections officer for Revenue Canada – collected overdue income tax
– generated and processed subpoenas for traffic court and provincial court
– collections officer for Revenue Canada again – this time it was a permanent position
– software engineer/dba/release manager/support engineer/network admin/whateverneedsdoingnext

17 Ryan

Cashier at a putt-putt/batting cage place
Retail slave
Retail slave
Office worker for the 2010 Census
Retail slave/blogger

Next up is hopefully accountant….or full time blogger. Or both.

18 Anonymous

retail slave, news editor, cook, dishwasher, counselor, taxpayer slave. not sure what would be next.

19 MW

Paper route
Page at a public library
Concert promoter
Cashier at a sporting goods store
Cashier at a clothing store
Office assistant
Waitress at a chain pizza place
Unpaid intern at a political magazine
Freelance writer/editor
Psuedo-lifeguard at a condo pool
Odd-jobber (during one summer when I couldn’t find a job to save my life
Section editor at an online magazine
Managing editor of a university magazine
Assistant editor at an independent magazine

I thought this was going to be really funny, but actually, that’s a pretty solid/typical career trajectory. Hmm. Maybe that saying does apply to me.

20 Honey

News Assistant Intern for a daily paper
Writing Consultant (writing center)
Writing Instructor (2 institutions over 8 years)
Long-distance writing tutor for homeschooled children
Writing Center coordinator
Blogger (though I never made any money)
Freelance writing curriculum developer
Graduate Programs Coordinator

Yeah, except for the serving thing (which I think everyone’s done), it’s all pretty typical.

21 E

Veronica Mars is smarter than you 🙂 and i’m super jealous.

Hmm, my employment history is actually pretty bland.

Summer Camp counselor (13 -18 years old)
Extremely Sporadic baby sitter (like maybe 10 times between the ages of 14 and 19)
Country Club Pro Shop Manager (15-18yrs old)
Retail slave for 2 months in college
Graphic Designer / Production Artist (19-26 – started as an intern and currently being strung along as an independent contractor/temp worker, even though I’ve been with the company since 2004… and yes I am bitter and working on a resume)

Future Job: Independently Wealthy Crafter/Blogger/Professional Volunteer/Globe Trotter?

One could dream.

22 The Tin Man

Student Receptionist at church rectory
Target sales associate
Pho noodle bowl constructor/burrito maker at on-campus locale
Engineering Student Affairs Office Assistant
Engineering intern/report generator for seismic restraint consultant
Mechanical Engineer

Future: Mechanical Engineer? Manager? Financial Advisor? Finance sell-out? Teacher? Zunicorn rancher? Bajillionaire?

23 Melissa

Cinnabon maker
Coffee maker
Credit card call center employee (best job to have at 18, this is where I learned what a credit score was and how to not screw it up)
Hospital PBX operator
wireless call center rep
wireless call center supervisor
–2nd job intern at furniture store, working on interior design degree – quit when other company paid me WAY to much to leave
wireless analyst

Future job–next – wireless consultant 6 year goal – not sure but will be 2 pay band higher (exciting I know).

24 Momninja

ok I have to say I am so proud of this reading base – I loved Veronica Mars and DN had never even watched the show I was so excited that I told him I would disown him if he did not do the gig! This proves that PDIITF readers ROCK!

reatil cashier
cashier at mini race rtack
bank teller
Inside sales Cable
sales aerospace turbine company
Customer Service in Electrnoic manufaturer
PM for Electronics Manufacturer
Customer Service for Insurance company
AOG Buyer for aerospace (Aircraft on Ground)
Contracts Manager
Program Manager
Customer Service Supervisor

yep I move around alot but my favorite job is still MOM! Love you DN

25 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

Events Worker – School job
Events Manager – School job (promoted)
Market Research Analyst
Community Manager
Emerging Leader for a Nonprofit

Who knows what is next for me? Hopefully something even more exciting then what I’m doing now!

26 krantcents

Door to door salesman
Bathroom accessory ceramic sprayer
Mail room clerk for corporate office
Camp janitor
Sales engineer
Accounting manager
Accounting Supervisor
Sr. Financial Analyst
VP of Finance & Administration
Chief Financial Officer
Entrepreneur (Income property, restaurant, studio catering)
Consultant (financial & computer)
Retirement comes next in 6 years

27 Matt

paper route boy
Yard work
Camp Counselor
College Dorm Janitor
Camp Counselor
Batting Cages Employee
Bus Boy
Assistant Supervisor
Student Services Advocate
Admissions Advisor
Client Services Rep.
Client Services Rep. Team Leader

28 This Guy

Chuck E. Cheese (literally, I was the mouse)
Barista (SBUX!)
Barnes and Noble retail clerk
Play-it-Again Sports retail clerk
Pool Boy (easiest and most lucrative job for the short hours worked)
Assistant Youth Director at a church

Did my past lead to the present….. NEGATIVE!

29 sandra

hmmm….. it’s a lotta years to cover (many of these were held simultaneously)
Babysitter extrodinaire – 11 – 19
McDonalds server
McD’s manager
Assembly worker in book production factory
tap dance instructor
recreation leader at day camps
library assistant
student, student, student
library tech staff supervisor
library book binding preparation clerk
manager of switchboard
director of several depts in hospitall
Information consultant for government
academic advisor for health care profession university program
project lead for health care projeccts
government worker establishing distance educattion and training programs
book editor
develop publications/tools for professional practice education

30 duddes02

fun game!

-Daycamp counselor
-Sold credit card machines to small businesses (lasted 1 week)
-Data entry/office person/marketing/assistant at a mortgage company (I have great credit because of this)
-Loan processer at mortgage company
-Business Analyst at consulting firm
-Sales support/analytics for software co
-Data/BI Analyst for travel co.

31 Colleen

House painting (while they got a boy to babysit for less $$!)
Dressing as a giant potato and promoting potatoes at festivals/fairs
Survey taking/data entry for local fire hall
Reading tent coordinator
Ran fire safety house at festivals/fairs
Circulation manager for student newspaper
Science museum tour guide
Circulation desk clerk at library
Law school book store manager
Summer law enforcement officer student
Articling student at law firm
Articling student at courthouse
Cashier at bookstore
Assistant manager at bookstore
Manager at bookstore

32 Heather

aid in child care program for posh resort
cabin cleaner
local grocery store-cashier/carry out and weekend supervisor for the video department, then assistant to general merchandise supervisor
switchboard operator
customer care for a local/long distance phone company
assistant to customer service department for a local co-op which lead into sales/customer service for a wireless providor.
Front desk for a resort in the middle of no where.
Office manager for a cable/accounting/title company. (fun job, title is a joke as it was just me in the office as it was a satelite office)
Office manager assistant at church..was scheduled to become office manager but board couldn’t get their act together in time and I was able to get back with my old co-op job.
Back at the co-op as a receptionist, then sales and customer service for wireless(hate it) and at times a teller (love it).

33 RetireOnTime

In the last eight years, I have done everything from valet parking cars, working as event staff for college hockey games, made hundreds of cappuccinos and lattes as a barista, stood behind the grill at a local sustainable cafe as a cook, worked as a computer analyst, and several more odds and ends in between. I agree, that one thing in this life that’s certain is that nothing is of absolute certainty. Now how do I go about planning a future savings when my next job could comes as something along the lines of a professional underwater basket weaver?

34 Sally

i thought i couldn’t like you more and then you said you were an extra on vmars. that is so fantastic. that show is excellent and i still mourn its cancellation.

party host at a laser tag/entertainment place
future career: hopefully a teacher in a few years

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