In a recent road trip with my close friend and co-worker, Kellie, where we were stuck in traffic behind a huge accident while snow was piling up around us, we had a series of long conversations after which she commented about how freakishly bizarre and random my work history is.
They say a fiction writer should have an extremely diverse background, and I can look at this list below and say, yes, I seem to have achieved that. So below, somewhat in order, is my list of professions for which I’ve actually been paid:
- Cleaning Boxcars for the Southern Pacific Railroad
- Wedding Photographer
- Pet Portrait Photographer
- Industrial Cinematographer (as in, I shot and edited movie footage on film for marketing of heavy industry)
- Parts Courier (shuffling large machine parts back and forth between Stockton and San Diego, California)
- Department Store Employee (in a combined photo, electronics, and music section)
- McDonalds Employee (very valuable experience – not joking)
- Vacuum Truck Operator, working with PG&E and Edison Electric
- Vacuum Truck Driver, cleaning airport runways
- Professional Glass Breaker at a glass factory (it was, seriously, my job to break glass!)
- Construction Worker at the University of California, Berkeley
- Computer Technician (on and off with several different companies)
- Lotus 123 Programmer
- Stock Manager for a parts warehouse (FIFO!)
- Purchasing Agent (in combination with the above Stock Manager)
- Industrial Videographer (same as Industrial Cinematographer but on video instead of film)
- Technical Journalist (wrote software reviews for a now long-defunct computer magazine)
- Configuration Technician (very similar, but still different than, Computer Technician)
- ISO9000 Quality Control Manager
- Technical Project Manager
- Science Fiction Novelist (ongoing)
- Technical Writer
- Webmaster (ongoing)
- Event Photographer (ongoing)
- Podcaster (ongoing)
- Digital Marketeer (which is a combination of several of the above: Webmaster, Writer, Photographer, Videographer, and to some extent, Programmer, Computer Technician, Project Manager, and now Podcast Producer)
Life would have been much simpler if I could have found, and stuck with, my perfect career — Digital Marketeering — but my perfect career didn’t exist back when I first started. Who would have thought that I could fall into a job that uses a large majority of my experience and interests? I’m still amazed such a thing exists. It’s definitely my favorite.
My least favorite: Wedding Photographer. Ugh.
Which brings me to my question to you: What jobs have you held? Which one was your favorite, and which your least favorite? And what do you feel is your perfect career?