Check out all of the jobs I’ve had in the past 15 years!
I got hired at my first job at the ripe young age of 15-years-old. I turn 30 in just two months, which means I’ve been working for nearly half my life, which is crazy to think about. I believe it’s incredibly important to instill the importance of a dollar in the lives of your children. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but my parents never forced me to get a job. I chose to get a job because I wanted to earn my own money so I could buy whatever I wanted. Of course, now I have a job so I can actually live, but when I was younger and didn’t have all those bills to pay, I got a job for incredibly selfish reasons, and it ended up panning out.
Here are all of the jobs I’ve had since I was 15-years-old:
My first job was working at Publix as a grocery bagger. I was still in middle school, and they were opening a new Publix right down the road from where I was going to school. My step-mom had a job working at Publix at a different location, but I still had to go through a formal interview before getting hired.
I loved my first job. I was young and naive, and I was working with people my age. I made so many friends and even had my first boyfriend. My first kiss was in the stairwell of the Publix I was working at. HA! What I loved about working here at such a young age was that I wasn’t even thinking about the long-term. I was so excited to have a paycheck and to be making my own money. I loved being friends with the people I worked with, and it was super convenient for me to walk over to Publix after school and get right to work.
Overall, it was a really fun first job, but not one that I’d be excited about today. I worked at Publix for about eight months before moving from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina to Bossier City, Louisiana.
I absolutely hated every part of working in retail. It was just an awful experience. I worked at two different stores in the Bossier Mall. I forget the name of one, but it shut down a few months after I quit. I only worked there for two months.
My second retail job was working at Limited Too. I felt so much pressure at my retail job. I remember during training when we were supposed to go grab an outfit that we thought was cute that we’d sell to a potential customer. I forgot to grab shoes, I got reprimanded for it. It was all downhill from there. I worked at Limited Too during the holiday season, and I ended up taking my last week off of work because I just hated it so much. I went to pick up my last paycheck, and I never stepped foot in a Limited Too again.
MOE’S CREW MEMBER
After a job in a grocery store and two jobs in retail, I decided to dip my toe into the restaurant industry. Working was Moe’s was such a fun high school job. Most of my co-workers were people I went to school with, and one of the guys even lived in my neighborhood. At one point, I got my best friend at the time hired there too, so that made work extra fun.
I didn’t love the work I was doing, but I had so much fun because I was hanging out with my friends. I went home everyday smelling like burritos, and my clothes were always covered in grease. I didn’t care though because I was having a blast making money and memories. I worked at Moe’s for about a year.
During my senior year of high school, I decided to get a job at a more upscale restaurant. I was hired as a hostess at Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro. I basically had to wear a suit to work everyday, and it was not super comfortable. I ended up becoming friends with many of my co-workers, and some of the friendships translated to friendships outside of the restaurant. The best thing about the job, besides my co-workers, was the free food. During training, you had to try a few different dishes so you could recommend them to the customers. Also, if you worked a regular shift, you got half off of anything on the menu, and if you worked a double, you could get something free off the menu. And everything tasted so good. I always took advantage of that free meal. I stayed with Copeland’s even after I started college. I would come home some weekends and school breaks to work. I never officially quit my job. We just kind of ghosted each other. I stayed on the payroll for a little over two years.
At some point in college, I worked at a restaurant called Monjuni’s for a day. It’s an Italian restaurant, and I was obsessed with their spaghetti sauce. I was part-hostess and part-busser. I greeted guests and sat them at their tables, and I also cleaned up when they left. I hated this job so much that I took the money I earned from that one day, and then I quit. I still loved eating at Monjuni’s though, and I went frequently even after my brush with employment there.
My last hostess job was working at a hibachi and sushi restaurant called Ronin. I didn’t really bond with the people I worked with much, unfortunately. The thing that attracted me to this job was that I was dating a guy that lived in Monroe, which was 30 minutes away from where I went to school. Ronin was located in Monroe, so it gave me an excuse to be there and be able to see him as much as I could. It was convenient at the time.
Ronin ended up opening at restaurant in Ruston, which is where I was going to school. I transferred to the new location, and I became a server for the first and last time in my life. I actually kept this job for awhile even though my boss was absolutely awful. Being a server gave me so much anxiety, but the money was amazing, so it was hard to give up. I did have one guy walk out on his check, and I had to pay for his meal, which is bullsh*t, but it’s fine #stillmad. My favorite part of the job was that we got to eat all the free salads and miso soup we wanted. An excellent perk.
I had two camp counselors jobs, and there were ups and downs to both of them. I did my first stint as a camp counselor when I was finishing up my freshman year of college. The camp was called GEAR UP. It was a free science camp for children who were attending at-risk schools. It gave them the opportunity to fall in love with learning and help encourage them to stay in school. Each camp session lasted one week, so we were each responsible for our own group of 4-7 kids during that week. I lucked out and had two amazing groups. My favorite part about being a camp counselor for GEAR UP was getting to go to Sci-Port, which is an interactive science museum in Shreveport. It was so much fun!
For my second camp counselor gig, I had to go all the way to Honesdale, Pennsylvania. I worked at a summer camp called Lake Bryn Mawr Camp. It was an all girls Jewish camp that lasted for two months. Not all of the campers were Jewish, and most of the counselors weren’t, including myself. I was a bunk 2 counselor, which was the second oldest group at the camp. I loved my summer as a camp counselor. I made friends with girls that I still talk to meet up with every once in awhile. I got to travel to NYC and Philadelphia. I made some incredible memories even though I spent most of that summer completely exhausted.
ORIENTATION STUDENT LEADER
Even though being an orientation student leader could technically be categorized as being a student organization, I did get paid to be an OSL. This was one of the best experiences I had as a college student. I was a sophomore going into my junior year, and after lots of interviews, I was chosen to become an orientation leader. We had to attend a class specifically for OSL, and we went on an OSL retreat the weekend we found out we were chosen. I learned so much about my school, and I fell even more in love with Louisiana Tech. I became super close to the other fifteen people chosen to be a 2010 OSL. Our job was to welcome freshman to the school during an orientation weekend. We became the faces of LA Tech for this freshman class. We took them on tours, helped them register for classes, performed an SNL-like show to help teach them even more about the school, and just made some incredible memories together.
STUDENT LEADER LIAISON
After being an orientation leader, I spent the next year working as a Student Leader Liaison. It was basically a tack onto my work as an OSL. As an SLL, I helped the incoming freshman and transfer students get acclimated to life as a Louisiana Tech bulldawg! We planned lots of fun events and reached out to students to help them feel more comfortable with college life.
I did one unpaid internship when I was in college, and it was for the Ruston Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. I learned so much about the travel industry, some of which was super beneficial for future jobs and for the travel portion of this blog. I got to create themed itineraries and sit in on important meetings. I was also part of the team that put together the new visitors guide. My mentor rewarded me by allowing me to have my picture taken for the guide, so I could physically be a part of it. It was such a fun surprise.
My first job out of college was one of the worst jobs I ever had. I worked as a manager trainee for a loan company, and it was absolutely awful. I cried everyday after coming home from work. My job was basically to cold call people who had had loans with the company and try to convince them to get another loan. I also had to call people who had outstanding loans and basically threaten them to come pay their bills. It was not fun. At all. My anxiety was through the roof. Sadly, this is the highest paying job I’ve had in my life thus far, and it was 100% not worth it. I quit after just four months.
GUEST SERVICE AGENT
After my brief stint as a loan collector, I moved back in with my parents and got an entry-level job working as a guest service agent, aka front desk, at a hotel. I actually loved this job. My co-workers were so much fun. I made some incredible friends working at the front desk. I also met some interesting characters that came through as guests. What was extra fun about this job was that I was part of the opening team, so I got to see the hotel before it was even done being built. We did our trainings at other hotels, and it was so fun because we were all new together. It wasn’t just me coming in as a new person.
I loved my job at the front desk, but I knew that it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. I did my best to take initiative and be as helpful as I could to the hotel overall. This ended up paying off. I worked as a guest service agent for about eight months.
When a spot opened up in the sales department at the hotel, I jumped at the chance to interview for it. The job was for a sales manager. I didn’t get the job, but a few months later, the sales coordinator moved away, and they offered that position to me. I stayed with that job for three and a half years, and when I left the job, I came back and worked there for another eight months. So altogether, I worked as a sales coordinator for a little over four years.
This was one of my favorite jobs because it helped me grow so much in my career and as a person. I basically molded my job into what I wanted it to be because I used the skills I had to contribute to the team. I had the opportunity to go to webinars and trainings that helped me grow in my position. So much of what I learned at the hotel could be applied to what I was doing as a blogger, and so much of what I learned as a blogger could be used in my 9-5 job. It was a win-win.
I also had the most amazing group of co-workers. They made work so much fun. I spent so much of my day laughing. I made some incredible memories with them, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have a group of co-workers that tops the one at the hotel.
Easily the most fun job I ever had was working on a cruise ship as an animator and part of the youth staff. It definitely wasn’t an easy job. Anyone who has worked with kids will tell you that it can definitely be a challenge. I also had to dress up in a costume as either Sam-I-Am or Thing 2, depending on what ship I was on. Outside of work, I had the most fun I’ve ever had. I loved working for Carnival and experiencing life on a ship. I also got to travel to beautiful islands and experience things that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I have endless stories about my life onboard. You can check out some things about my experience by clicking here.
Growing up, I worked a little bit as a baby-sitter, and even now, I’ll baby-sit from time-to-time. After working with Carnival, I gained even more experience working with kids, and that led me to get my first childcare job at Little Angels. I worked with kiddos ages 3-5. I absolutely loved this job, for the most part. I didn’t really vibe with my co-workers, the pay wasn’t great, I was tired all the time because I started work at 6 am, and I had to drive 40 minutes to get there. What I did love was the kids. Even when they drove me crazy, I loved them. They were so sweet and so inquisitive. Their minds were like sponges, and I loved when they were actually absorbing the information I was giving to them. I also got to be creative with the activities I did with them, which was one of my favorite parts of the job. They made me fall in love with teaching, which is why I decided to go back to school and get my post-baccalaureate in elementary education. I can’t wait to finally become a full-time teacher. I worked with Little Angels for about three months.
Since the long commute and hours weren’t working with my school schedule, I decided to get a job at a childcare center closer to home. I started working at The Goddard School, which was a completely different experience from Little Angels. I worked with children ages 8-22 months, which was completely out of my comfort zone. I ended up loving most parts of my job. I had fun with the two co-workers I had in my room. Working with one-year-olds is definitely not for the feint of heart though. It was tough and could be frustrating at times. It was draining on me, and I quit after working there for eight months. I still baby-sit some of the kids I met at Goddard, which is nice because I miss them dearly.
Right now, I’m focusing on doing my schoolwork and getting through my teaching program. That’s my biggest priority. Financially, I’m too prideful and uncomfortable with not having a job, so I pick up a couple shifts a week at a doggy daycare where I get to play with and clean up after dogs all day. It’s the perfect chill job to have while I continue working on my schoolwork, and I don’t work everyday, just a couple days a week. Plus, I’m off of work by 12:30 pm, so even on the days I do work, I still have the entire rest of my day to focus on school. So far, it’s been working.
I can’t believe I’ve had that many jobs in the past 15 years. Honestly, I’m so ready to finish my teaching degree and get my teaching career started. My hope is that I continue to fall in love with teaching and that I stick with it until I retire. If not, you may see even more jobs added to this extensive list.
What are some of the best jobs you’ve ever had?