The First Seven

In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic: the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modern talk about energy, efficicency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except, ‘Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it?’ Money has become the grand test of virtue.
— George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

There was a subtle, and internet-era brief, trend on Twitter to list your first seven jobs. It struck me as odd to list the beginning of a work life. Babysitting, yard work, pizza delivery, death by coffee shop seemed to be the most mentioned.

It struck me a little later, maybe even now, that the beginning - even with comparable jobs - sets people up on different trajectories. As someone recently told me, "Out in the work field there are pure breeds and pound puppies." 

I gladly recognize myself with the latter. People such as myself scramble around looking for interests to balance and carving our own way. It is exhausting. It takes time that we constantly contemplate if it's worth it. Sometimes there is no end in sight, only a vague sense of direction that we know is right. 

Kids basketball coach

Push in a way that doesn’t piss people off.
— Patrick Lencioni, 5 Dsyfunctions of a Team

Babysitter

Great jobs are rare and valuable therefore your skills need to be rare and valuable.
— Recap of So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport

Zookeeper

No water, no life. No blue, no green.
— Sylvia Earle

Waitress/Counter Service Girl

I calculated that one had to walk and run about 15 miles during the day, and yet the strain of the work was more mental than physical. Nothing could be easier, on the face of it, than this stupid scullion work, but it is astonishingly hard when one is in a hurry.
— George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

Outdoor Recreation desk jockey

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
— John Muir

Baker/Cook/Chef

The number of flavors is infinite, for every soluble body has a peculiar flavor, like none other.
— Jean Antheime Brillat-Savarin

Writer

Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
— Joan Dideon, "Why I Write"

 

This is my (work) beginning. The initiatives I started long ago are weaving and working throughout my current work life. It may seem scattered now, but to me it feels right. For now, I claim: writer, Krav Maga instructor, business anthropologist/marketer, volunteer scuba diver at the Aquarium, and explorer. See?