This post was originally published on LinkedIn ~ January, 2016
Over the years I’ve held an eclectic mix of jobs, some more “resume-worthy” than others. As I take stock at the beginning of this New Year, I’ve put together a list of all the jobs I’ve ever been paid to do in my life. I present them to you here now for your interest and amusement:
Grass cutter, trash remover, house painter, handyman helper (qualifications: see trash remover), plumbers helper, dish washer at Italian restaurant (can still smell it!), long distance service street team salesman, sandwich maker, convenience store clerk, liquor store clerk (aka a Packie Man), security guard at an all-female college (amazingly I was paid to do this job), giant chocolate chip cookie baker (we’re talking pizza sized), Brookstone retail sales associate, office manager at a daily newspaper, collections manager (for a long distance company… guess it’s true what comes around goes around!), overseas English teacher (Taipei, Taiwan), ad traffic manager (also Taipei), graphic design and prepress at commercial printer, copywriter, product manager, sr. licensing manager, game producer, executive producer, VP product development, VP business development, VP mobile, and licensing and manufacturing consultant… and I’m not done yet.
I look at that list and I’m kind of amazed if not amused. There was something to love in all of these jobs… well at least part of the time. There is a reason they call it work after all.
And of course there were a few of these jobs I could never warm up to. There is no joy in making a collections call. Ever.
This year I’m adding a new title to my list: Entrepreneur.
Last week I came out of pseudo-stealth mode to announce Cutbox Studio, the first all-in-one, multiple camera studio designed to help social video creators make more interesting, more compelling content. If you missed it, you can see our latest teaser video here:
But I digress… here’s the interesting thing about work and having a career – maybe you’ve noticed this too in your own life: virtually everything I have done before is now playing a part in some way in this new role as “entrepreneur.”
It’s easy to review the back end of the list and reach this conclusion, but increasingly I’m finding that there are plenty of things that I did back in high school and college that set the stage for what I’m doing today.
Selling long distance phone service to strangers on the street? Be fearless. Talk to anyone. Rock the elevator pitch. Know the objections. Know the close.
Cookie baker? Stay organized, the details are everything. Watch the time. Be efficient. Wear oven mitts.
Collections calls? Be polite but firm, and know ahead of time what you can live with and what you can’t. Be empathetic, but don’t let emotion cloud the facts. In the end, everything is a negotiation. Always.
The truth is you never know what experience you might draw upon when making decisions for your product and company. One thing I’ve learned so far – don’t be afraid to go deep into the playbook!
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had? The best? Let me know in the comments below!
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