MY THREE FAVORITE JOBS
Figuring Out What You Do Best
I am a little embarrassed to say that before I became self-employed, I was what some would call a "job-hopper." Truth be told, I have had more than 40 jobs in my life. My first job was at Burger King, but I couldn't keep up with the screen. I was making sandwiches as fast as I could, but I couldn't remember what was on the sandwiches to begin with (I only ate bacon double cheeseburgers and french toast back then!). The final straw was when a guy on the other side of the sandwich making table cleared the screen before I could finish what was listed there to make. The manager came in and started yelling at me. I stormed off.
I also tried various waitressing positions, but I really wasn't into that, either. I did work at one place for a few months, but then my boss made a pass at me. My husband at the time went in there and jerked him by the collar across the counter in front of all the customers and the people I worked with. I will never forget that scene. I can still see him shaking his finger in my boss's face, telling him to stay away from me. What made matters worse was that my husband had forbidden me to quit. My boss was visibly shaken, but I guess he kind of got what he deserved, as he had been doing that to other women also.
I also worked in auto insurance for about four years. I actually liked that job a lot. It was much more diverse than you might think, at least in my case. Part of my job was actually walking their greyhound down A1A. I remember walking on the beach with the dog, thinking to myself what a wonderful job I had. I also got to take little trips to the bank in the boss's car, and to take pictures of tractor trailers in various places. One time, I went to a marina to take a picture of a boat, and found myself having to climb through quite an obstacle course to reach the boat I was to photograph. I actually loved that job, and I took care of the insurance agency, a shopping center they also owned, their house and their dog while they took a vacation in Nevada and Oregon. It was in Oregon that they had a bad car accident, and they were forced to sell the business. I chose to move on also.
I also worked in property management for eight years. It was two properties at first, but then the owner sold one of them. The owner was in Chicago (the property was in Cocoa Beach), and the property manager I worked for was located at that time in Merritt Island. We also had an on-site property manager as well as cleaning and maintenance crews that I dispatched as necessary. I was the bookkeeping secretary there, and when I started, it was all done by hand. After a few years, the property manager insisted that I learn Quicken, much to my chagrin. However, once I learned the program, my job became MUCH easier. I actually had the work for the entire month done in about one week. The rest of the time, I had nothing to do. Tenants would come in to the office and joke about how I did nothing, but they didn't know that I was really a whirling dervish that finished quickly and had time to read while waiting for the phone to ring, which would give me little things to do here and there.
This was probably my favorite job. I really liked my boss, who had a great sense of humor. He was fatherly, and he reminded me somewhat of Santa Claus. He was very understanding through four serious relationships and my first pregnancy. Then the building was sold, and both of my bosses retired. I was saddened to learn a few years ago that he had passed away, but it was not unexpected. He had been very sick.
Probably my least favorite job was the one I had right before I decided to go into business for myself. I had been working at a pest control company under a great deal of stress (due to dishonest activities of the manager I was working under), when I was told about a position opening in Cocoa Beach. I missed my former job in Cocoa Beach so greatly that I jumped at the chance to work up there again.
I applied for the job and was hired. The woman I worked under was a CPA. She was ruling over (and I am not exaggerating here) the cleanup of a bookkeeping disaster for a triple S Corporation. Simply put, there were three companies that had been in business for quite awhile, and had not filed taxes because they had not been keeping much in the way of records. I don't know if there was a tax attorney involved or if they were facing an audit, but I think they were expecting to face the possibility of these things. In hindsight, I see that the woman was extremely narcissistic, and whenever I would excel at anything, she made sure to pull the rug out from under me. If I saved the company money, she took credit for it. If I complained about the way she was micromanaging me, she tore into me enough to make me fearful of doing that again. I remember her telling me that I was not cut out for accounting. I remember her telling me that I could never do her job. I remember her standing over me and asking me if I knew why everything I did was "garbage." I am not joking. This is what I dealt with. I actually enjoyed the job itself, especially when I was helping the other woman in the office with questions she had about Quickbooks.
This situation was reeling out of control by the time I left there. I was a little heartbroken, because the woman had befriended me, found out everything she could about my personal life, and then proceeded to break me down as much as possible. Nothing I could do was good enough. I couldn't even tell you what was the last straw. Finally, I gave my notice.
The good thing that came out of this was the realization that I enjoyed teaching Quickbooks, which is what I do now. In fact, the combination of the massive amount of jobs I have had have all contributed to my work experience, which has made me a temporary invaluable asset to the people I help now. It's funny how life has these seemingly insignificant little trials that we go through and then we find that they have actually been a help and not a hindrance.
This has also helped me to show others what they may do best, especially people looking for self-employment in this economy. All one has to do is look at their life and see what they excel at to find what they can make money at. If you need a special license to do it, you may have to go to school, but there are many jobs that you can make into a career for yourself that don't require schooling.
For more information on how to create your own employment, see this article.