And then everything changed

Dienstag, 2. August 2016

The jobs I've held and lost so far

I've had quite a few interesting/weird jobs in my life so far. So, I was inspired by a post by Cole Nemeth to tell you about my adventurous path in the working world.

As my first job as a teenager I was museum watchman (or is it watchwoman?) for a small local museum in my city. It was mainly a museum of local history with changing displays of art by local artists. Basically I just sat there the whole day. Now and then some old folks came by, I greeted them and also sold them coffee or pie and then watched them pretending to be impressed by the museum. It was a really easy job. When noone was visiting the museum, I could even do my homework or read a book.

In my first spring break from college, I landed a job with Dialog Direct. They came to my university and there was a day-long test/interview and I was so proud that I was accepted. What they do is, they stand in busy streets in cities and try to find sponsors for non profit organisations like Amesty International and the like. During the interview day, they showed us a video which made it sound so much fun. A team of six young people drive around the country, work for a good cause, always similing.

But in truth it was pretty awful. First there was a two day training program where we learned how to manipulate people. How to look them in the eye, what to say, what never to say, how to bring them to sign something without them even knowing what excactly they're signing. They even told us that people who really were a part of an NGO weren't allowed to fundraise for this organization because they truly believed in their cause and therefore where too passionate to manipulate. You have to be cold-hearted to do this. To this day I can recognize fundraisers on the street who were trained by Dialog Direct because they all use the same tricks.

After the training, we drove from Berlin to Munich. There we were a team of six and lived in a shared apartment. Every morning at 8am we left the apartment and put up our booth. The whole day we stood there and tried to covince people to become sponsors. At around 10pm we packed everyting in and went right to bed because this kind of work is really exhausting.

People hate people who try to sell them something - even, or especially, if it's for a good cause. People literally crossed the street so that we wouldn't start a conversation with them. And the stress is extreme. I opted for a payment method were you got a fixed salary each week, so that I wouldn't be under so much pressure but I still was. I think, our teamleader gets more money the more sponsors we get or something like this because people who didn't get at least two sponsors a day (which already is really hard) left one after the other. Our team was shrinking. I wasn't doing well either, so after 4 days I was told that I should quit which I did because it was honestly the worst job I ever held.

To make up the money I didn't make with Dialog Direct, the next semester I worked as a dishwasher for an Italian restaurant. Which was a shitty job as well, because all you did was wash the dishes for hours, but it was okay and at the end of the night I even got something to eat.

The next springbreak I had the greatest job ever! I was a city scout for Yelp. Yelp was expanding in Germany, so they hired me to review stores, places, bars etc. in my hometown Frankfurt. All I did was walk around my town, take pictures of places and write about them on Yelp. I must have written a review for every single place in Frankfurt. And people loved my reviews! I didn't just write how I find the store but I told funny stories of what happened to me at a certain place. To this day people send me compliments for my reviews on Yelp. I did this job for 6 weeks and it was awesome. But at some point there aren't any places left to write about.

After that I worked at an advertisment firm as an ad writer. We created homepages for companies and I wrote texts about why these companies are awesome. I also typed in reviews of customers as references. It was a pretty comfortable job though it robbed me of my faith in people (especially in the advertisement business). One of our clients was a hair removal company. So many reviews came in which stated that their hair removal technique is extremely painful, costs a lot and doesn't even properly work. But in my advertisment text it was obviously painfree and effective.

The first home working job I had was doing the online marketing for an apocalypse book by a rich Swiss author. He paid me to fill a website and Facebook page and to post in groups and literary sites how awesome his book is. He really believed that the story in his book (something about aliens) would actually come true but I'm still waiting for it to happen.

Two years ago I started working as an editor at Lifehack - an online magazine with articles full of tips and tricks in all areas: technology, health, science, relationships, spirituality, entertainment. I am still holding this job and it is therefore my longest job so far. It is a really comfortable job. I copy edit articles, I revise grammatical and spelling errors, formating errors and sometimes if the content is illogical or incomprehensive I tell the author to revise it. I enjoy that the articles are so diverse, so I learn about a lot of different topics through this job.

I also wrote a couple of articles for the local newspaper here. It's fun and this is the kind of work I want to do but the pay is awful and to be honest, I often lack article ideas.

One of the most fun jobs I had was as a movie/tv show/music tester for an airline more than a year ago. All I had to do was in parts watch the movies or tv shows or listen to the music of their inflight entertainment and then note if there are quality programs. Unfortunately I had to quit this job to start my current employment.

At the moment I am working for a publishing house. My work is really diverse. Some of my tasks include: editing books, layouting, PR, marketing, organizing events. Some things are more fun than others. I enjoy working with a lot of interesting people, authors, dancer, singers, but I don't really like calling newspapers and trying to convince them to write about our books and the like. This 1.5 year job program will end in October. My boss asked me if I wanted to continue working there, but though I like my job, I chose to quit and see what comes next for me.

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