Monday, 11 February 2013

Listmania: Jobs I have Had

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

I am getting such a buzz from the weekly Listmania run by Deb at This week's topic is all the jobs I have had!

I was actually quite surprised how many jobs I have had when I sat down and thought about it. That sounds terrible but lots of them were holiday jobs rather than me changing jobs rather too often.

My illustrious career started delivering junk mail at age 10. I really wanted some extra pocket money but it was slave labour. Huge numbers of pamphlets to deliver for a very low return. I didn't last very long at that job as our family moved back to Singapore. It was a lucky escape.

As an expat child I could not legally work in Singapore so apart from the odd very lucrative baby sitting gig I did not work again until I was 14. The rules relaxed and the government allowed expat kids to take summer jobs. My first summer job was working at Burger King for the princely sum of $2 an hour. I worked the morning shift so I started work at 6 am and finished at 2.30 pm. I really enjoyed working there in spite of the low wages. At that point we had 10 weeks summer vacation and it was tedious staying at home. The following summer I picked up a job at a local supermarket working the deli counter. Apart from losing half a finger nail in a meat slicer accident it was a great job and my pay went up to a staggering $2.50 an hour.

These jobs were a means to an end and I managed to save enough for a return flight to London over those two summers. I had a deal with my parents that if my GCSE marks were of a certain level that they would give me spending money if I funded the ticket. Off I travelled to the UK and Paris for three and a half weeks at the age of 15 - flying Air Czechoslovakia no less! I still marvel at my parents letting me go but it was a wonderful trip and I did stay with friends interspersed with B & Bs.

I then returned to Boarding School in New Zealand for the last two years of school and did not work at all. I did not work my first year at University either but soon realised that a job could be very useful so I got a part time job at a local bookstore chain. It still rates as one of my favourite jobs - I worked with a great team, got great discount on books and I learned a lot both about customer service and how much fun work could be with the right people. I stayed there until I left Uni.

My first job out of University was working for the Department of Statistics processing the census. It was interesting work and the hours of 3 pm to 11 pm suited me as I could sleep late and get to the shops and bank during the day before starting work. I worked with my then partner and several friends from my school days so it was quite a fun job if a tad high pressured at times. It also made me realise that it was not the kind of job I wanted to do forever and I returned to school to train as a Primary School teacher.

I worked as a teacher for nearly seven years. I always taught Year 3 and 4 which is 7 to 9 year olds. Initially, I taught in a small rural town before heading to the big smoke of Auckland and ultimately getting my dream job at an international school back in Singapore. It wasn't a dream job but I did love being back in Asia and after changing schools spent a wonderful 3 and a half years there.

I returned to New Zealand to get married and needed to get a job (and fund the wedding). There were very few teaching vacancies so I applied for a job at an insurance company. I figured I would do it for a few months until I found a teaching role. Instead I discovered that I really enjoyed it. I took all my exams and after moving to an insurance brokers I really found my niche. I worked in insurance until I went on maternity leave and had my daughter, a period of seven years.

I am on the cusp of starting the job hunting process again now. My heart wants me to go back to insurance - I love the helping people aspect but my head says teaching makes more sense. The holidays, shorter days and flexibility of hours if I am supply teaching all work better with looking after my daughter. I really need part time work and I think supply will be the easiest way to obtain that. I am a little anxious about retunring to the workforce after three years out and a decade out of the classroom.

What was the worst job you ever had? I would love to see your list.

Happy New Year to those celebrating Chinese New Year. We attended a party at my daughter's school and indulged in calligraphy, dumpling making and even made fire crackers out of red packets. What a great range of activities to share with the community! 

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


  1. look at that cute picture !!

    i would love to hear more about your trip to europe alone at 15 if you are ever in need of a blog post idea ; ) in this day and age of helicopter parenting i am sure there is much to learn from the trust that your parents showed by letting you explore so young (i spent a summer in greeece at 16 but did it through a program so lived with a family and then traveled with a small group of 16-18 year old girls - still managed to get up to a lot of fun times LOL)

  2. Wow. Traveling at fifteen! Wow! I can imagine, now a parent yourself, you would marvel that your parents let you go. Lucky thing you!

    I did the Junk Mail thing too at one point. Absolutely ridiculous when you take in the amount of collating you had to do.

  3. What a great list!!
    My parents were both school teachers - which is what put me off (more for the fact that I wanted to find my own career, not follow in their footsteps. I sometimes wish I had followed them as it is a great career (although my current job is more flexible - no way I would be able to drop my son off at school and be teaching at a school at the same time unless it was the same school - which it was for my Dad and I as we lived in the country).

  4. How exciting travelling so young, my friend works as a teacher at the private primary school she sends her kids to. It works really well for them. Good luck with the next stage of your career

  5. wahooooooo love your list
    is as long as mine
    which is funny as when i started i thought this will be short!!!

  6. What an interesting list of jobs!! And good luck on your job search. Maybe you could keep your options open - perhaps just the right insurance job is out there that would give you flexible hours, etc.

    Also, cool that you lived in Singapore as a kid! And traveling alone at 15? OMG. I can't even imagine letting my daughter do that! Also, S is adorable.

  7. travelling solo so long would be such an adventure!! best of luck with your decision re your next job - I am sure it won't be an easy decision xx

  8. Cool! I think your kids will like this someday, I love when my mom and dad tell funny stories from jobs they had before me!

  9. That was a fun read! My worst job must have been the one I had on Saturdays when I was 15. It was in a shoe store and all the right shoes of the pairs were in a warehouse on the 3rd floor. I hated those people who let me run up those stairs 5 times and didn't buy anything :-(

  10. It is interesting to read about peoples past jobs. Here is my list,

  11. I hope you can find the job that will make you happy and work for your family life. It is so hard when you have to juggle things and great when they all work out well !
    Have the best day !
    #Listmania visitor

  12. What scares me more than the solo trip to a different continent as a teenager (I was an incredibly shy adolescent) is the teaching primary school kids! As a teacher myself I know how hard it can be, but at least all of my students are adults!
    Good luck finding the next job on the list... :)

  13. Travelling solo so young, you've got a lot of spunk, good for you. I see also another lover of books. The worst job I had was brief, in a clothing store, the staff were hideous, I didn't like the smelly changing rooms either. Good luck with the job hunting xxx Rae