The Well-rounded Résumé: Six Jobs to Have by Age Thirty

Jobs to Have by Age Thirty

It used to be that your first job after high school or college was likely to be the only one you ever had. Then, in 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that younger baby boomers (those born between 1957 and 1964) held an average of 10.8 jobs over the course of their lifetime, and that between the ages of eighteen and forty-two, 23 percent of the respondents even held more than fifteen jobs.

Fast-forward a single generation, and people now switch jobs more than ever-especially in the teen and young-adult years. The jobs that you hold in high school, college, and early adulthood won't make you rich, but they are all enriching experiences because they expose you to many people, situations, and industries that you never would have encountered otherwise. You might even go so far as to say that the "worst" jobs-the most menial, underpaid, name tag-requiring positions-are the ones that teach you the most about life. While young people are switching back and forth between jobs, they're not just learning about what career they want, they're also learning about what kinds of people they're going to be. Before settling into a career, any well-rounded person should have these six different kinds of jobs on his or her résumé.

A Service Job
Whether it's waiting tables, folding T-shirts, tending bar, scooping ice cream, serving coffee, or ripping tickets at the movie theater, any job in the service industry teaches you more about people and their bad behavior than you ever wanted to know. Customers complain, and they're demanding, messy, and unreasonable. When you deal with them, you're forced to learn patience, mental toughness, and how to let that rudeness, anger, and ignorance roll off your back. Service jobs also teach employees to take pride in what they do, even if it the tasks are simple, unglamorous, or painfully easy. If you can learn to take real pride in something as inconsequential as a neatly folded pile of shirts or a perfectly chilled martini, you can learn to be proud of any work you ever perform.

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A Job in Which You're Forced to Clean
You don't have to be a janitor, housekeeper, or Porta Potty-service person to see firsthand how disgusting people can be. The busboy at the restaurant who pries chewing gum from dinner plates, the barista at Starbucks who has to wear leather gloves while taking out the restroom trash, the office assistant who's forced to wash the entire department's lunch dishes … they all know this. Being forced to clean up after others teaches you that most people will take advantage of every opportunity to be messy and not even care about it. Anyone who's spent time with a mop or rubber gloves learns to see people being dirty or unsanitary and instantly think of the poor soul whose job it is to deal with the filth. There is no magical cleaning fairy-when you're the person cleaning up others' messes, it makes you think twice about creating them yourself.

A Childcare Job
There's something that parents, nannies, daycare workers, and frequent babysitters know that the childless often don't: taking care of kids is hard. Really, really hard. While children are surely a joy and a treasure, they can also be frustrating, irrational, earsplitting, exhausting, and infuriating. Once you've spent your fair share of time changing smelly diapers, putting away toys, helping with homework, playing inane games, tending to the needs of infants and small children, and learning firsthand about parents' real day-to-day struggles, it makes you think long and hard about whether you want to have your own.


For three more jobs to have by age thirty, visit DivineCaroline.


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