I got my first job when I was fifteen.
My grades were in solid shape. Except math. We don’t talk about the math. The A’s and B’s in school meant my parents were cool with me getting a job at a clothing store, as long as I worked no more than two weeknights and weekends and my studies didn’t suffer.
Monday morning would arrive and I’d be in another new outfit – I had no bills yet, so OBVIOUSLY my pay went right back to the shop. That 90’s denim vest and velour bodysuit got looks, y’all. And I was just helping future sales…
My job was fun, rewarding, and I was being paid to flirt?! I decided this was my calling. I was going up that retail ladder. I was making it all the way to the top.
I started working on my goal immediately. I offered to train new employees. I went in early and stayed late to show I was worthy of promotion, and I became a keyholder. When I finished high school I decided to see what other companies were like; gotta assess the future competition for when I became a retail mogul! I moved from store to store, sussing out which one was the right fit.
Enter the college years:
I tried my hand at serving in a popular restaurant after classes. “Future employers will appreciate my well-rounded past!” I was still following my retail dream, however I ended up out of clothing for awhile, sorting out what I was going to excel at. *Buying a futon or hot tub? I can help.*
I took a job in a new city where I had no friends, no home, no idea what I was getting into, really. But this was IT. It was a gorgeous city on the ocean and OMGITWASGOINGTOLEADTOALLOFMYDREAMS.
Fast forward to age 27: I had now worked at 15 different jobs in 12 years. I ended up back in my hometown. The city I said I would never live in again because my future was supposed to be in some thriving metropolis. I was newly single after a heartwrenching split, unemployed for the first time in my life, and living in my parent’s basement. I had a breakdown.I had failed at EVERYTHING.
BUT HANG ON A MINUTE. Don’t be sad.
Here’s the kicker:
Every job (as of this month the tally is at 22,) was something my heart and mind and soul and imagination and curiosity and… well, it was what my life needed me to do at that time. No regrets. Honest.
I’ve sold clothes and shoes, whale watching trips and booze from a golf cart. I was a cashier, a beauty spa coordinator, and a drug and alcohol technician. I even worked at a hotel where we checked in the ‘entertainment’ for the strip club below.
And I thought I was well-rounded with my jobs at age 18.
What I hope you take away is this — There is no golden rule to finding your calling. Or maybe your calling is not having one. Maybe some of us are meant to float around and try a bit of everything. (Spread the love!) You may be suprised when you see what you’re capable of.
Every good story starts with a dream. I hope you’re writing yours.