Work & Purpose

From Next Avenue Readers: Our First Seven Jobs

Readers' job lists offer a fascinating peek into their lives

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first seven jobs

Credit: Getty Images

Last week we hopped on the #firstsevenjobs bandwagon — a Twitter hashtag that had gone viral — and asked you, our readers, to share your first seven jobs on our Facebook page.

As usual you outdid yourselves, responding in droves and revealing so much about yourselves (and how the world of work has changed) in your little lists.

You were bakers and bikini models, dishwashers and typists. You've worked in shops, libraries and hospitals. Been on railroads and in classrooms.

Click through this slideshow to see seven of our favorite responses (although, truly, they're all our favorites). And go to our Facebook page to read them all and share your own.

1. Brenda Hess

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Babysitting
  2. Making elephant ears at county fairs
  3. McDonald's
  4. Manufacturing bow-and-arrow parts and other assorted things in a factory
  5. Ugly Duckling Rent-A-Car clerk
  6. Student secretary at the athletic department of my college
  7. Snack bar, grocery store and gift shop clerk at the YMCA of the Rockies in Winter Park, Colo.

2. Mary A. Ritter

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Church organist at 14 (and off and on for 35 years)
  2. Nanny for a summer
  3. Waitress at an Italian restaurant
  4. Clothes folder at a university hospital laundry
  5. Teacher for 30 years
  6. College instructor of teachers part-time
  7. Staff curriculum developer, technology manager at 3 elementary schools

3. Jack Hallahan

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Door-to-door donut sales
  2. Paper boy
  3. Lifeguard
  4. Swim coach
  5. College DJ
  6. Radio advertising research assistant
  7. Radio marketing manager

4. Holly Fischer

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Nurse's aide (when I was 15)
  2. Hospital maid (when I was 17)
  3. File clerk (when I was 18)
  4. Legal secretary (20)
  5. Business travel agent (33)
  6. Mother (36)
  7. Artist (50)

5. Steven W. Giles

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Lawn mower
  2. Sweeper boy
  3. Paper boy
  4. Gas station attendant
  5. Gas station attendant (again)
  6. Military
  7. Telephone repairman

6. Marilyn Fall

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Babysitter
  2. Grape picker
  3. Salesperson for Beeline Fashions
  4. Salesperson for Sarah Coventry jewelry
  5. Toy factory worker
  6. Pie factory worker
  7. Minicomputer operator

7. Loren Thacker

Credit: Heidi Raschke

  1. Newspaper carrier (eight years)
  2. Door-to-door sales
  3. Sunflower field seed rouger
  4. Painter (buildings, not art)
  5. Lawn mower
  6. Janitor
  7. Jailer


By Heidi Raschke
Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy.@heidiraschke

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