Listmania four: To all the jobs I’ve loved before

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by Debra Dane on February 11, 2013

in Listmania

I have worked since I was young (daytime babysitting since I was still in single digits) and have been earning regular money to fund things or pay for school since I was fourteen. That’s a lot of jobs since I am about to turn 41!

So here’s my highlight reel of jobs:

High school jobs – cash is king

included stints babysitting, working at The Gap and  a card /gift store on Madison Avenue where I actually had my own set of keys so I could open or close the store!, and my personal favourite which was working for a bookbinder.

Thanks to our art teacher at school a few of us girls (no boys strangely) were hired to catalogue this guy’s famous collection of bookbinding tools. Herbie was a character who had a yappie dog, a gun (don’t ask) and Jamaicans working in the basement with us where it wreaked of pot every afternoon we worked. We were teenage girls, paid cash and it was a tad insane when we look back on it now and laugh together.

College jobs – cash goes straight to paying for my education

Uni is where the jobs were strictly to pay for the expensive education I needed so I took what I could – waitressing again, fundraising for the university by phone at night, summers selling frozen lemonade as a street vendor in Manhattan (you know those carts you always see selling hot dogs and such?).

list of jobs i have had

Overseas jobs -very little cash,  experience is king

After deciding not to be a lawyer as planned I went travelling and met my now-husband.

We met on a kibbutz in Israel and my jobs there ranged from kitchen work, laundry, cleaning and my favourite – the orchards. I woke up around 4:30am to get ready to be driven to the orchards where I worked a few hours until breakfast, then returned until lunch around noon. Day’s job done. My time was spent  fixing irrigation lines or driving a tractor as we sprayed (I had never even driven a car at this point and learned in 5 minutes before being sent on my way) while taking in the beautiful scenery, eating fresh citrus off the trees and getting tan.

My next job was in Bangkok – I worked for a non profit for two years on the issue of child prostitution, trafficking and labour. Great work, patriarchal organisation, learned heaps but had to leave as I was not going to move up until I had “done my time” no matter how good I was.

I moved back to New York temporarily and fell into a job as a conference manager for a small destination management company. Great work and money. Biggest memory is interviewing, getting the job and starting work all without having a clue at all what the hell the job was or what the company did exactly (I still wonder what was going on in my head during the interview).

Hubby (then-boyfriend) was still working in Asia at this point. I visited him in Hong Kong where we got engaged. Eventually I gave notice and we moved to Australia. From then until I went on maternity leave (where I stayed permanently) I worked in radio advertising and promotions. Fun times until the company went public and then – not as much fun so it worked out well that I stopped working to be at home…

where i have been for the last 9 1/2 years!

Tell me what your craziest or most fun job was?


Find your simple,



Link up for listmania four:

Prompt for listmania five is: A day in the life

Take hourly photos (or as often as you can) and document a day in your life this week. Share a snapshot of your life through pictures – tell us the time and what you were up to etc. Have fun!


Image credit: flickr user jips stick

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate February 11, 2013 at 6:07 am

That ‘Herbie’ sounds very dodgy!

The kibbutz sounds like a real adventure, and to have met your husband and share the experience together – sounds like your most enjoyable job.
Kate recently posted..The sweetest thingMy Profile


Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:53 am

Yes the kibbutz was an adventure for sure. i wanted to include a photo of that time but it predates digital for me and i had noting on the computer or even handy to scan in…
Debra Dane recently posted..Life with Evie part twoMy Profile


Lyndal February 11, 2013 at 6:16 am

How funny re the conference manager interview… I can only imagine the amusement and confusion :)
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Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:54 am

Seriously it took m e days to piece together what the heck we wer doing. then i kicked ass!
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Kirsty @ My Home Truths February 11, 2013 at 6:47 am

You have certainly done a whole lot of things during your life Deb. I’ve only ever worked for 2 different employers myself and never overseas. You have been lucky to have had so many and varied experiences and also to have met your husband through the process – very romantic!
Kirsty @ My Home Truths recently posted..I Must Confess…First JobsMy Profile


Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:55 am

I am envious of your stability though – hubby has been with his employer for almost 17 years and i know that it can be a positive thing especially when the economy is taking a beating and you are keeping your job…
Debra Dane recently posted..Grateful: Perspective on what I haveMy Profile


Bec S February 11, 2013 at 7:24 am

Oh your overseas jobs sound exciting! The Bangkok one sounds like it could have been challenging.
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Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:56 am

It was a fabulous opportunity and I did love it when i was challenged. i laugh now as it was all done without email or the internet at the time – so much faxing!!!
Debra Dane recently posted..Listmania Three: Crushes Then and NowMy Profile


Tina Gray February 11, 2013 at 7:25 am

Wow, you’ve done lots of things! In between having kids and working, I didn’t have time to try out a lot of jobs. This probably is why I feel like I haven’t found what I’m meant to be doing.
Tina Gray recently posted..So what do you do?My Profile


Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:56 am

I still am not sure what I am meant to be doing – i think it is a common theme for women in their 40s to be figuring it out xx
Debra Dane recently posted..Simple and fun date night ideasMy Profile


Bec S February 11, 2013 at 7:26 am

A day in your life sounds fun – not sure mine would be very exciting on a work day – computer screen, followed by computer screen, followed by computer screen haha.
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Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

that’s why you can choose any day even a weekend day…it will be fun ; )
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Maxabella February 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

Crazy, fun or just plain weird? I have had so many! Weirdest was definitely being sent on a temp job when I was at uni, typing for a ‘businessman’. Turned out he was actually dictating the porn novel he was writing… awkward!! x
Maxabella recently posted..Living the simple life in the cityMy Profile


Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 9:58 am

OMG Bron that is hysterical. could you keep a straight face – was he any good or just cheesy LOL
Debra Dane recently posted..Simple and fun date night ideasMy Profile


Claire T February 11, 2013 at 10:18 am

I really enjoyed your list. Some parallels in the working in SE Asia and long distance romance front to my own life. Really looking forward to next week’s topic. I just need to pick the right day!
Claire T recently posted..Listmania: Jobs I have HadMy Profile


Debra Dane February 11, 2013 at 10:22 am

i know i just sat and looked at my week and think wednesday MIGHT be my best day to photograph – worried i might just see how boring my week is LOL
Debra Dane recently posted..Listmania Two: Your current seasonMy Profile


Sharon February 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Hey Deb – I forgot my overseas jobs!! They were all reception and admin in England, but they were fun!!

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Desire Empire February 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I didn’t realise you had a monday link up. Thanks for hosting.


Lisa February 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

What a fabulous adventure your life has been so far! I would love to live in New York and work but I am guessing the reality might be different to the dream!
Lisa recently posted..Comment on I Must Confess…with a List of Career Highlights by Claire TMy Profile


Me February 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I so wish I had the courage to try different things. If I had my life over I would have done it so differently – but then maybe I wouldn’t have been me !!!
Thanks again for hosting another great linky – will be around to read others after dinner tonight.
Have the best week !
Me recently posted..Listmania 4 – what jobs have I rockedMy Profile


kirri February 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Have to say….I have my fair share of interesting and diverse jobs. Cleaning the school toilets and doing promotional modelling would have to be the worst; psychology tutoring and coaching would have to be the best!
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Zoë - LaBlogotana February 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Just linked up – totally out of order but I’m hoping to catch up. This is perfect for my new years resolution of posting more frequently – if only I’d had proper internet access recently!
Thanks Deb :)
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Sammie February 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I wish I’d had the courage to travel like you did – it’s my one regret at this point in my life, although there’s still time for me to get out there in the world. It sounds like it would have been both a rich experience and rich with experience!
Sammie recently posted..Career Path – Listmania Week 4My Profile


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