Today I found myself reflecting back on all the jobs that I've had from when I left school at 16 years old until now.
I have had so many different jobs in the past 12 years, mainly part-time jobs to see my through college, university and law school, in. If I were to include all the jobs I have had, my CV (resume) would be 6 pages long (it’s currently 3 pages long as a result of hardcore condensing lol).
My very first job was at the Hilton hotel as a chambermaid. I remember the day I randomly walked into the hotel, 2 weeks after my last exam. I asked the receptionist if they had any jobs and to my surprise on that same day they were having a recruitment day. I was told to fill out an application form and to come in the next day for an interview. On the day of the interview I was invited to start the week after, which I did.
Everything happened so quick and I never forget the date I started, 7th July 2003. I worked full time during the summer until I started college then I just worked weekends and some evenings during the week.I was thrilled because I was earning a full time wage and at only 16 years old I was earning more than people my age - minimum wage didn't apply to me lol.
From what I can remember, over the past 12 years, I have worked as a waitress, cashier, customer service representative, call centre agent, cleaner, warehouse operator, supermarket assistant, youth support worker, food service assistant, kitchen assistant, office administrator, housing advisor, community learning champion, leaflet distributor, fundraising coordinator, legal clerk, finance assistant, PA, proofreader and most recently as a business support officer and paralegal.
Wow that's a lot for someone who hasn't even reached her 30s years. As I said, most of these jobs were part-time while I was studying, but I've never been shy to get my hands dirty, to graft and work hard .
I've had some really difficult times and had to accept mundane jobs just to make ends meet and put food on the table - my hardest moments were when I left university until about 2 years ago.
I remember complaining to myself – and anyone who would listen to me – about not being able to break into the career that I spent almost 5 years studying for.
When I look back, I see that all the jobs I had taught me something. I acquired interpersonal skills, developed my verbal and written communication skills as well as becoming IT proficient, quick on my feet, developed my numerical and analytical skills. In a nutshell I have gained transferrable skills that I can use today.
Every place that I have worked at and every situation I have been in has shaped me to the person I am today. I learned to be humble, thick skinned, efficient, a real team player, never give up, not to accept no as the final answer, not to wait for anyone, make things happen, if no one wants to give you a job work for yourself and above all believe in more.
When I was offered jobs that I was more than qualified to do, I didn't despise them. I saw them as firstly, an opportunity to earn money and secondly, as an opportunity to learn something new or maybe meet someone who will open doors for me to get closer to where I want to be.
I no longer complain about where I am - partly because I am closer to achieving my dreams and also because I know wherever I am placed, I have not been placed there in vain. Somehow and in some way it's going to add to my life, shape my character and I'll gain a skill that I may be lacking.