I certainly am not my grandfather who worked on a farm since the day he could hold a tool in his hands, nor my parents who have worked numerous and sometimes unpleasant jobs to provide for their family, but in my 30 years I have had 11 "official" employers in addition to numerous parents who entrusted me with their children, filling my gas-tank throughout high school and college.
I believe I have a picture of my very first "official" paycheck that I received over Christmas break working at Champagne Jewelers. (For some reason I didn't take a picture of that very first tax return my dad helped me file.) But since that day of receiving my first paycheck in 10th grade I have never been unemployed. In fact, the majority of my working experience has been to have two jobs at a time, at one point I had three at the same time. I have felt unemployed working the only 5 hours a week my employer could offer me when I needed to pay bills, but since starting work the Christmas break of my sophomore year of high school I have always been employed. While there are certainly days I have been stressed or wished I weren't working because I wish I had won the lottery, I am extremely thankful that I have always had the opportunity to work to some degree. Moreover I am extremely blessed to currently "work" in a place that feels more like a calling each and every day. Certainly there are stressful moments working in a church, Christmas and Easter come to mind, but I know I am lucky to be excited about what I get to do each and every day. I give thanks that I am able to work, that I am able to provide for myself and my future, that I have had employers willing to hire me, sometimes taking a risk, and that I get to do something I love each and every day. May everyone be so blessed.
Hostess /Waitress - I learned how to serve a 7 lbs pizza & why fried bow-pasta only tastes good with spinach
Student Associate and Associate Minister - I learned the importance of welcoming all of God's children and what God's kingdom can really look like
Sales Associate - I learned why it is easy to never actually bring home a paycheck from a job like this
Consultant - I learned the importance of recording your memories and that it is so much more than just a photo album
Intern - I learned more than ever that God is ALWAYS present at church camp, and speaks to me more there than anywhere else. I discerned my calling to ministry as a DPF Intern
Office Administrator - I learned that the healthcare system is more complex than we can ever imagine, but always worth the effort, because there is always a patient in need
Non-Foods Clerk, Cashier and Salad Bar Clerk - I learned that candy is considered "non-foods," and that I will ALWAYS be horrible at cutting a cantaloupe
Child Care Provider - I learned that a nap ALWAYS makes the day better, & that parents will never be as smart as they need to be when it comes to homework time
Sales Associate - I re-learned that my paycheck will never actually be a paycheck if I also want to give it right back to my employer and that ministry does not only happen in a church
Child-care Coordinator - I learned that childcare workers still think snot, tears, puke, or any other bodily fluids are disgusting, but we just don't tell the parents.
Associate Minister - I learn and re-learn every day that I love what I do more and more each day and that I am incredibly lucky to love a "job" as much as do