Working for the Weekend

This week, a blog I recently found on 20sb and started following - Life After College - made a fun post sharing her resume of work over the years. I thought this would be a fun idea for a post and decided to share my experiences.

Job 1 - Mowing Grass
http://www.charentepropertymanagement.com/Images4/mower.jpgMy first job, at the age of like 10, was mowing grass for our neighbors. Next door to us, lived a woman in her late 20s/early 30s who worked A LOT and didn't really have the time to cut her own grass. Seeing me mow ours every weekend in the summer, she approached my dad about paying me to mow her grass too. I would also occasionally mow the grass for the neighbors on the otherside of this neighbor when they went out of town, as they were an older couple. One thing I hated about their yard though was they had some sort of plant that just made my allergies go nuts! My first summer of mowing grass I had saved up enough money to get myself a portable CD player with a fanny case and accessories - I was so proud! I also have fond memories making up stories and fantasies in my head while I mowed, to pass the time and I had a special old pair of sneakers and cut off knee-length jeans I would wear with an old t-shirt while I mowed.

Job 2 - Babysitting
In Junior High and early High School I babysat. I babysat for mom and my aunt, several neighbors near our house, as well as a few families down the street. Occasionally someone from church would ask me to babysit and mom and dad would drop me off at their house. It was a typical part time job, some of which I would regularly babysit for (there was one family in the summer where I would watch their kids during the day 3 days a week for most of the summer) although I preferred babysitting kids who were potty trained - I hated changing diapers!

Job 3 - Market Researcher
http://www.consultantz.com.au/images/Market_Research.jpgI got my first "real" job towards the end of my junior year of high school, working for a market research place in town. I got to wear a little headset and sit in a small cubicle with a computer that would randomly dial consumers and I would try to persuade them to take a survey for market research purposes, reading off a script on the computer and inputting their responses.

We were divided into several different teams, each having a different supervisor and area to sit in, and each week, each team was given a different set of surveys to work on. Some of them changed from week to week, others were longterm surveys, such as one regarding types of gasoline companies. Some other memorable ones were regarding baby food (I had a man snap at me and threaten to press harassment charges as he was a 40 year old gay man who had no interest in baby products and this was the 3rd time this week someone was asking him about them), one about juices, another on rice bowls and microwave dinners, an awkward one about underwear, one about cough drops, one about financial companies, and another one about candy. The funny thing about the candy one was that it was for some obscure type of candy, so normally the survey was about 5 minutes long, however if they said the one obscure candy, it turned into a 30 minute survey.

I also SWEAR I interviewed Gavin Rossdale for one them, as the man was about the same age, had the accent same accent, and mentioned he was a singer in a pretty well known band, plus he was in California at the time and was shocked I had called his number. I also interviewed a guy that my supervisor thought sounded kind of like Hank Hill from King of the Hill. Another funny occurrence was when another fellow young co-worker was working on a survey and got a horny female on the line who kept trying to have phone sex with him - she kept asking him what he was wearing, what he was wearing underneath and all these awkward questions, lol... it was pretty funny!

For a first job, it wasn't bad. I normally worked from 4-9pm on the weekdays and 10am-4pm on Saturdays and the pay was  high too for the time - $6.50/hr weekdays, $7.50/hr weekends - back then minimum wage was just a little over $5/hr. I quit this job near the end of my first semester of senior year, as I had pep band coming up for the winter and soccer in the spring.

Job 4 - Apartment Maintanence Worker
http://propimages.apartments.com/113760/001/BL010132.JPGI spent the summer between high school and college working for my aunt, doing random apartment maintenance work on this set of buildings her in-laws owned and her and my uncle managed for them. I worked from about 9:30am-3pm Monday-Thursday mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, vacuuming the stairs and hallways, cleaning the laundry rooms and painting the balconies and window trims. 

Job 5 - Newspaper Designer
When I went off to college I started working as a page designer for my college's newspaper, doing layout and design and creating graphics. I worked here part time for most of my college career (minus the last semester I was there). The job was Sunday through Thursday nights, as we published Monday through Friday, however I only worked 3 days a week; it paid minimum wage  hourly, which was fine for a college job. During my first few summers, where we only published once a week (Tuesdays) during summer school weeks, I was the design editor, which was fun. I also was the design editor for 2 other semesters, one of which I stepped down from after the first month, as I couldn't handle the heavier schedule it required as well as my classes, and the other time I inherited the position as one of the design managers was dismissed from the school early in the semester for grades or financial reasons. Honestly, I much preferred just being a page designer without the added stress of having to deal with the other editors and fit a ton of meetings into my schedule. I was also one of the quickest designers though, often being given the entire special weekly entertainment section (The Weekender) to hammer out, as well as a slew of AP pages that I could hammer out in under 2 hours or so. Having me do all that left room for some of the not so quick designers on our staff to focus solely on their assigned page (such as our campus or city page or the front page) and get creative with it.

Job 6 - Unpaid Graphics Intern
While working at the college newspaper, I spent 2 months of my 2nd summer of college interning at my town's local newspaper, the Rockford Register Star. I was the unpaid graphics intern, along with maybe 4 other interns that were there that summer. Here I created A TON of the locator maps you see in the newspaper, as well as various graphics and they also let me do several of the Life&Style section's cover pages. When they didn't have any design for me to do they'd let me work over in the newsroom, helping proof-read pages. It was an interesting experience.

Job 7 - Movie Theater Employee/Manager
After my 3rd year of college, I decided to get an apartment with a friend and move in shortly after spring semester rather than coming home for the summer. My parents said that was fine, but that I would need to find a job as they didn't want me getting into trouble and being lazy all summer. I went around town towards the end of the semester and filled out a ton of applications. The first one to call me back was the main movie theater in town.

I easily got the job, as my soon-to-be roommate had previously worked there and taken me to a few movies with her and her manager friend in the past year, not to mention the manager I interviewed with was also my 3D design instructor from a year ago and remembered me. I started during during the last week people were on campus and my first weekend there was Star Wars 3 opening weekend. Back then we did employee screenings as well, so I got to see Star Wars 3 early too! I spent most of the summer, when I wasn't taking summer classes during the morning, working at the theater either selling concessions, taking tickets at the ticket stand or cleaning theaters. Usually I worked concessions though, even though I preferred being an usher. I quit shortly after the fall semester started though, as I was offered the position of the design editor again at the newspaper and decided to take it, as the pay was better and it would look good on my resume, but got rehired the next summer, as I needed a job that was more than 1 day a week.

I spent most of that summer work projection and eventually that fall they taught me how to work up in box office. I eventually had to take the semester off school, in which my parents said I would need to have to pay for my own housing and utilities, as we wouldn't be able to afford an extra semester for me to finish school otherwise, so I talked to the head manager and was able to get scheduled 4-5 days a week. During the weekdays they'd have me work box office, while on the weekends I would work projection.

By December, they asked if I'd be interested in a management position, as one of the managers was graduating and had another job lined up. Of course I said yes, interviewed with the district manager, and got the job. I was officially a manager on Christmas Eve but didn't start til right after Christmas. I spent the first 2 months in training with the 2 head managers (one of which I considered t a good friend) before they let me on my own. Because I had gone back to school, they had me working closing shifts most weeknights and various shifts on the weekends, however once I graduated I worked 4 days during the week and Saturdays (eventually I ended up being opening manager on Fridays and Saturdays).

Being an art student, they also let me work most of the promotions corporate told us we had to do - usually this included window painting and making and putting up decorations around the theater and then taking photos of it and putting it together in a presentation binder. We also went digital which was a huge change from working with 35mm film, however I enjoyed doing digital filmwork much more than 35mm filmwork. It was an easy job, I enjoyed working with my co-managers and most of our employees, and aside from the occasional disgruntle patron or projector acting up, there wasn't much to it. It was a routine job that I didn't mind. I had an opening and closing routine that worked great and I had a weekly routine for making sure all the filmwork got done that made it so we weren't scrambling late Thursday or on open Friday to get it done.
Job 8 - Advertising Designer
So I wasn't really looking for this job when a former classmate told me he was leaving his design job and he gave my name to his bosses I took it. It was less hours than the theater, but paid roughly the same and was in town (as I had recently moved back to my hometown when my lease was up and was commuting to the theater) so I wouldn't have to commute. Plus, I felt it would be nice to have family off my back about finding a job that utilized my college degree.
At this job, I design furniture sale ads for stores all over the US that appear in various newspapers or get mailed out to peoples houses. I've also gotten to design some sign walker signs as well as a few billboards, in addition to promotional materials for the sales promotion agency I work for, such as brochures, mailer inserts, and ads that appear in national magazines and catalogs. My bosses also have me put together mailings to send out to potential clients, as well as do some personal design projects for them, whether it be designing invitations for a family event or designing equestrian ads for the ranch one of my boss's daughters rides at that appear in national magazines.

Job 9 - Beauty Consultant
http://www.princessalexafoundation.org/uploaded_images/mary-kay-720329.jpgWhen I found out my hours at the design job were getting cut in half due to lack of business, I decided to try and find a second job to help supplement the income I was losing. I thought about selling Lia Sophia jewelry, but had a tough time trying to get started (you have to book your first 5 parties before you can get your kit and debut). Eventually a former classmate from high school introduced me to Mary Kay last fall, hubby looked into it, and I decided to do that, which has helped us quite a bit, as without it we wouldn't have been able to buy Christmas presents for our relatives this past Christmas. I've really enjoyed doing Mary Kay, as I get weekly girl time with the girls in my unit, and there's other fun activities we get together for. It's also a great way to meet other women and make them feel good about themselves, not to mention I LOVE the principles the company is based on and that the Mary Kay Foundation helps to fight breast cancer and domestic violence. They also recently donated $100,000 to the Haiti Relief as well!

Job 10 - Seasonal Cashier
http://images.usatoday.com/money/_photos/2005/06/02/inside1-sears-kmart.jpgI also got a little bit of working retail experience this past winter too, as I applied online (after seeing an ad on Facebook's Marketplace) for a seasonal position at a local Sears Essentials store. I worked as the seasonal cashier for November and December and did a good job, despite only working 2 days a week. I also did very well at getting credit apps for the Sears cards they offer. I worked the mid-morning shift on Black Friday too, which was quite an experience! They said they enjoyed having me there, but apologized for the lack of hours at the time and told me to come back in March, as they'll be getting the garden center open and will be looking to hire a few more people.


  1. Fascinating stuff! My folks give a lot of grief for not using my college degree too. I always say it's better to be doing something I enjoy as work, right?

    I think my personal favourite is the Beauty Consultant. I would LOVE that job. :-)

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  3. Exactly! I really do regret giving in and leaving the theater for a job they seemed to think I should have...

    I LOVED working at the theater and if we lived closer I woulda already gone back by now... I'm sooooo bored at my desk job and I miss the interaction with people. At the desk job there's only 3 other people in the office and they're all older so I can't really talk about fun things like I did with my co-workers at the theater who most were around my age or just slightly older. A lot of us watched the same shows, liked the same movies, read the same books... not to mention there was just more social interaction.

    I feel like since I moved back here I don't get much of that anymore. Aside from family, all friends from back home have either moved away or have had kids and are too busy to really hang out these days unless we schedule a bit in advance =/ That's partly why I was so excited to join Mary Kay - it's my 1 guaranteed night each week I get to go out and chat with other women =)

  4. Fun - I should do this! I covered most of my jobs when I did my 2000s decade wrap up, but I forgot my very first job: working at the farm stand across from my house when I was 15.


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