As a child, I loved going to Calaway Park. The gates opened up to a world of fun, food and good times with my friends.
Why not turn that world of fun into a world of work? That is exactly what I did. At 15, I worked for Calaway Park. As my first real job, it set the tone for the rest of my life. From my first job, I used fun as a deciding factor for every job thereafter.
At Calaway, I was usually a floater. It was the floater's job to wander the park grounds and go where the longest line was to help out. I found myself making funnel cakes, scooping ice cream and riding on the back of bumper cars pushing the pedal down for the little kids who couldn't reach them. No one was ever in a bad mood. How could you be when you're in an amusement park?
The following season, I received a letter stating I could go back to work at Calaway, however, I wanted to do something different, but still fun.
I worked for the Calgary Cannons, the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. My season of work consisted of corn dogs, soft pretzels and my favourite sport to watch live.
During my season at Foothills Stadium, I met a few of the players, had a huge crush on one of the groundskeepers and got to work with my best friend. I also received an award of a Sony Walkman for turning in balanced cash boxes every game.
Once in high school, I worked as a shampoo girl for a small salon. I had wanted to be a hair dresser at that point in time, and this was a way of banking some practical hours. I sat in the back room a lot of the time listening to the women gossip about celebrities and what was happening in the current edition of the National Enquirer. Even as a high school student, I knew this was not my setting. I rolled my eyes.... a lot.
There are two rules I live by in judging whether or not a job is for me or is getting stale. I call these "the eye-roll factor" and the "snooze button test".
The eye-roll factor basically tells me if I'm wasting my time at a job. Such as was the case in the salon. I found the conversation mind numbing and repetitive.
The snooze button test is how many times I hit that before getting out of bed for work in the morning. If I hit that button every nine minutes to stay in bed for over an hour, I am definitely not in love with what I'm doing and need to re-evaluate.
Finding what I wanted to do in my professional life didn't come easy. I'm a firm believer in curiosity and choice.
Having a variety of different jobs and dabbling in a little bit of everything, I found the jobs I wanted to do weren't necessarily the most lucrative, but the jobs where I had the most fun.