Damon always jokes because he claims I’d win on survivor… and he’s probably right because I am one crafty mofizzer. I owe it all to working 30+ odd jobs in less than a decade. They say your “20s” is a time to explore all of your options, the time to just try things out. Since I’m the queen of shutting up and going, I started doing this while I was in my teens and the ability to juggle jobs was mastered by 22 (thanks to mom’s immigrant work ethic that’s instilled in ma blood stream). I also have to thank my brother, the artist, and my sister, the singer, for being incredibly talented. It’s because of their talents that I was always trying to “find my thing.” Finding your talent is no easy task if you’re just sitting on your couch eating chips, so I decided to say yes to every single job that I was offered.
If you think working is simply to make money, you’re living a sad a$$ life. First of all, what are you even planning on doing with that money? Let me guess: buy crap you don’t need, go to fancy restaurants, become attached to material possession that have no meaning in the long run? Or maybe you’re doing the “mature thing” and building up your 401K or saving to buy a house. I can’t knock you for that, but if you’re working for the future, remember things can change in the blink of an eye, so you might be missing out on the present.
Work to me isn’t just about making money. It’s been juggling these jobs that has given me the constant refresher that nothing is permanent, and that you need to live the hell out of every experience life presents to you.
Which brings me to my next point; starting a new job is the closest thing I can get to travel when I have to stay in one place. It gives me the high of going through the “socialization” process in a new and foreign environment. You have to learn the culture, the language, and you definitely feel awkward. We’re talkin’ “loser with lunch tray,” awkward. I live for that moment because it creates an opportunity for me to grow myself in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I have to say that the most beautiful thing about constantly working new gigs is that these opportunities have introduced me to important people, added ca$h money to my travel fund, and have detached me from the idea of a “stable job” that sucks you in and convinces you that comfort is the best way to live the one life you have on dis damn earth.
Below is a list of jobs that I’ve juggled and the lessons that they’ve each taught me.
Comment below with what you think the weirdest job is!
1. Wall Painter in houses and apartments (2005-2014), “panting ceilings is the most painful thing, always use blue tape and stay away from oil-base”
2. Cleaning Lady in office buildings and NYC apartments (2003-2014), “you can’t tell anyone how to scrub your toilet well if you’ve never scrubbed someone else’s toilet well”
3. Cashier at a “ma and pa” pharmacy (2007-2010), “insurance really matters”
4. Portuguese Translator in a chiropractic office (2007), “ice if inflamed, heat if sore”
5. Retail Sales Associate in a suburban mall and in Times Square (2007-2009), “people put boogers in store mirrors”
6. Babysitter for a family of doctors (2008-2009), “kids strangely remember everything and are so wise”
7. Administrative Assistant in a business college office (2010-2011), “you can break every rule without getting in trouble if people in power like you”
8. PR Assistant for bougie NYC events (2010-2011), “executives smoke weed and no one knows it”
9. Phone Hostess for a 14 restaurants chain in NYC (2011), “people actually make reservations months in advance for a party of two”
10. Ad Sales Intern at NBCUniversal (2011), “most employees who have found success in the corporate ladder are actually lost and depressed”
11. New Business Assistant in a media agency (2012), “always present an agenda of what you’re pitching before you start your shpeel, people need guidance”
12. Guest Agent in the largest hostel in North America (2012 -2013), “the most open-minded people in the world are backpackers”
13. Freelance Video Producer and Editor (2012-2014), “if you’re cheap when buying a hard drive, you can guarantee your files will get corrupted”
14. Resident Advisor in college dorms (2012-2014), “rich kids really do have the most problems”
15. English Tutor to my French host family (2013), “caca boudin is probably the best thing I’ve ever learned in French”
16. Secret Shopper in a shoe store (2013), “I would have sucked as an undercover spy”
17. Video Editor Assistant for a non-for-profit (2013), “you have to stick to the brand so you’re confined to a box, but the box is infinite”
18. Counter Girl in a boutique coffee shop (2013-2014), “once you know what real espresso is, you’ll start seeing Dunkin’ Donuts as coffee water”
19. Inspiration Mentor for a youth non-for-profit (2014), “nothing makes me happier than inspiring young kids to be their perfect unique selves”
20. Promotional Model for a tequila brand (2014), “some people actually do pass up free shots, weird”
21. Janelle Monae Look-a-Like for a Cover Girl campaign (2014), “I strangely look exactly like her when I have hair and makeup done, throw on suspenders and it’s ova”
22. Server in an Italian restaurant in NYC (2014), “my life is more than this job, and I’m still a good person”
23. Caterer for a wedding planning company (2014), “it’s common practice to tip servers at weddings, if you don’t, you’re stingy”
24. Grocery Shopper and Delivery girl (2014), “people bitch about the particularity of their fruits, including pluots, which happen to be the hybrid of a plum and an apricot”
25. Receptionist in a Co-working space (2014), “next to travelers, entrepreneurs are my favorite people, and good spacial design makes a huge difference in workflow”
26. Administrative Assistant in a travel agency (2014), “if you change or cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking, you don’t lose any money”
27. Social Media Coordinator for The Cable Center for Media (2014), “twitter is the best way to reach executives to get new jobs/internships”
28. CoatChex Coat Checker (2014), “ticketless coat checking is the best idea since sliced bread”
30. Creator, Producer, Business Woman Extraordinaire, and On-Camera Talent of Shut Up And Go (2012-fo’ life), “seeing that people are shutting up and going is what fuels my energy to keep working my a$$ off”
So after all of that, this is my advice to you: shut up and work… and do it with a smile on your face.