Jack Of All Trades

IMG_0893I was thinking, the other day, about all the different jobs I’ve had. Apart from four months off after having a baby and a couple of months after university when I moved cross-country, I’ve worked pretty much continuously since I was fifteen.

So here, in no particular order, are all the different paying jobs I’ve had:

McDonald’s server

Strawberry Picker (a low point)

Retail Sales: Clothing, high-end shoes, leather goods

Visual Merchandiser – Full time and freelance

Fashion/Promotions Model

Admin Manager

Design Studio Manager

Golf Course Social Club Manager

Accounts Receivable

Signage Designer

Banquet Server/Bartender

Barista

Martial Arts Instructor

Hair Salon Assistant Manager

Print Production Manager

Talent booker

Art Buyer for an Ad Agency

Photography Producer

Gallery Assistant

Receptionist

Freelance Artist

Hmmm. That’s quite a long list. I am *ahem* a bit older than fifteen now, and I have moved around a bit, but I think it’s safe to say that I’ve tried my fair share of different jobs. However, none of them ever ‘took’.

Until now.

For the past ten years or so I have had the same job: writer. And I love it. I love the challenge of working with words, of finding the correct tone for each piece, wrestling the pieces into place so that I speak with my own voice, or that of my client. I love writing stories and sharing them, and consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to do so. Sometimes it pays quite well, and at other times I can work weeks for a pittance – but I enjoy all of it.

I don’t know that there’s much of a point to this post, other than the fact that I tried lots of different things until I found what it was that I really wanted to do. And, the thing is, I was doing it all along. One of my best friends from university, when I told her I was writing a book, said, ‘but you’ve always been a writer.’ Funny that she could see what I could not. So I look back on each of my different roles as learning experiences. Sometimes the only thing I learned was that I never wanted to do that job/work with that person again, but it was a lesson, nonetheless.

Perhaps we only come to things when we are ready for them. I know all the jobs I’ve had gave me different skills and made me the person I am now. They also gave me life experience to draw upon when writing stories, and taught me what I didn’t want from my life. It was one of my former employers who first took a chance on me, asking me to write something for them. And for that, I’m eternally grateful.

So how about you? What unusual, awful or wonderful jobs have you had?

———————————————————————————————-

You can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ, plus check our my Facebook Page, Instagram and Pinterest Page for book info, photos, blogs and moreโ€ฆ

 

 

The Gratitude Challenge

IMG_0938

I was tagged in a post by the lovely Dee the other day, challenging me to write about something for which I’m grateful.

I’m actually finding this quite difficult. I’m grateful for most things in my life, to be honest. Therefore, choosing one thing to focus on is tough ๐Ÿ™‚

And I suppose I should be grateful for that, too – that I have such an abundance in my life. Oh, I don’t mean financial or material abundance – though we’re more fortunate than many on this planet in that we have enough to eat and a roof over our heads. I try and see everything that happens to me as an opportunity to learn – when I had a job I hated, I still tried to learn as much as I could about the role, adding to my experience. I also learned which industries I didn’t want to work in, ever again. When a good friend turned her back on our friendship, I learned how wonderful my other friends were as they rallied around me for support. When I lost family members I tried to remember the joy we shared, rather than focusing on the times we would never have again – there was regret, of course there was, at years and opportunities wasted, but it taught me to value the moment and to make the most of it, to make the effort to keep up with family and friends, as you never know how long you might have with them.

Coming to a place in my life where I choose to be thankful for the things I do have, rather than regretting the things I don’t, has taken work. I’m far from perfect and still have my moments where I feel I let myself down. But if we choose to make a conscious process towards appreciating life, rather than shaking our fist at it, then that’s part of the battle won. I’ve had dear friends come into my life who have taught me to appreciate all that I have. These people came to me when I most needed them, even though I didn’t realise it at the time. If all I’d been focusing on was myself and my own sorrow, perhaps I wouldn’t have noticed their arrival.

So I suppose I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful for my family and the love that surrounds me. I’m grateful for my friends, for the fact I get to express my creativity every day, for the fact that I can connect with people all around the world with the click of a mouse. I’m grateful I still have the capacity to learn and enjoy new experiences, wherever they may take me. And I’m grateful that I can appreciate it all.

So what are you grateful for? If you feel up to it, take the Gratitude Challenge as well ๐Ÿ™‚