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21 Jobs in 31 Years



Someone asked me the other day ago, how many jobs have I had. I had to think about it, and before I knew it, I had a pen and paper out. I wrote them all down. The answer is 21.


In the process of writing them down, I noticed some patterns and I reflected on what I liked, didn't like, enjoyed most, and which jobs catered to my strengths. It was eye-opening. I decided to write down the year, the job, and a tidbit or two about each job.


Here is what I came up with


  1. 1986 - Kentucky Fried Chicken - My first job. I was a Cook. I got 2 jobs the same week. Hardees and Kentucky Fried Chicken. I chose KFC because I had never eaten at Hardees and their brown uniform was disturbingly ugly! True Story

  2. 1986 - AMC Theater - Concession Stand. The big bow tie and vest were epic. Seriously.

  3. 1986 - Perkins Family Restaurant - I was a waiter. I learned to cook and host as well. If you want to learn customer service and learn to have control over your earnings, waiting tables is great. I learned to serve people as a Waiter and I learned valuable customer service skills that I still use today.

  4. 1989 - The Woodlands Race Track - I was a cashier who took your bet. Working around betting and beer was quite interesting. I handled large stacks of money at this job.

  5. 1989 - Pacesetter Windows and Doors - Telemarketer. Hated it! This outbound calling was brutal. I used an alias. I was "John Anderson calling from Pacesetter Corporation". I developed a great phone voice, but the job was horrible.

  6. 1989 - Wal Mart - Floor Tech on the night shift - Cleaned and buffed floors and cleaned bathrooms. No fun. I learned pretty quickly through this job that I needed to take college more serious.

  7. 1990 - AT&T - Out bound calls. Double Hated it!! AT&T was a stickler about being on time. I didn't like that structure. I rode the bus to work and I did not like the constant pressure of getting to work on time. Maybe I was a bit undisciplined, but they were tyrannical about it. Not to mention I really disliked cold calling people.

  8. 1990 - UPS - Unloaded packages from the box trucks onto a conveyor belt. Physically challenging and dirty job. It taught me that I never wanted to work in a warehouse again.

  9. 1990 - Jiffy Lube - Lube Tech - One of my favorite jobs. I was able to get dirty and I learned so much about cars. I learned that to like working with my hands, and I enjoyed the customer service part of it.

  10. 1992 - Wendy's - My first year at K-State as a Junior. I was a Cook. I walked over a freeway everyday to get to work. Cleanup was messy but it paid the bills. I was a struggling college student and this forced me to learn to budget like a maniac.

  11. 1993 - KCK Community College - Summer Job in the Bookstore stocking books. I think I heard more 70's and 80's soft rock in this one summer then I had heard all of my life. Back then I think it was called Muzak!

  12. 1993 - Kansas State University - Tutor. My introduction to teaching.

  13. 1994 - U Haul - Cleaning trailers and filling up propane tanks. Another pit stop job to make money in the summer.

  14. 1994 - 7th Grade Teacher and Middle and High School Boys Coach - My first job out of college. Fun job. Great kids. Great times coaching Boy's Basketball!

  15. 1998 - Dillard's - Men's Shoe Salesman - Part Time while I was a Teacher - Partial Commission. This is where I learned about shoes, which ulimately, 15 years later, would bolster my ability to sell shoes on Ebay!

  16. 1999 - Circuit City - TV, VCR, DVD Salesman - Part Time - 100% Full Commission. Again, I did this while I was a Teacher. And just like waiting tables and selling shoes, I enjoyed it. Anytime I can determine my own pay based on my work, I'll take it.

  17. 2001 - Americo - Insurance Analyst - A stop gap job between teaching and working for the Federal Government. I almost became a full time insurance agent and financial planner during this time, but SSA came knocking and offered me a job.

  18. 2002 - Social Security Administration - Legal Administrative Specialist.

  19. 2008 - General Services Administration - Federal Contracting.

  20. 2010 - Home Depot - Part Time - Flooring. I needed money for Christmas and for extra on billes one year so I spend 6 months wearing an apron and working in the Flooring department at Home Depot. When I left this part time job I told myself I would never in my life have another 2nd job. Anything I do on the side would be my own business.

  21. 2017 - United States Army Corps of Engineers - Federal Contracting. Current Job.


21 Jobs in 31 years sounds like a lot. But is it? I don't really know. What I didn't mention above was all of the side gigs I did from about 2000 to 2019. While I was working for the government and continuing to grow and evolve, I was venturing into some entrepeneurial arenas. I'm looking forward to sharing alot of that information. But that will be in another blog post. Stay tuned for that one!!


The takeaway here from all of my 21 jobs in 31 years is that often times, people don't really know the story behind your any of your glory. Sometimes it's good to stop and think about what you've done, what you've accomplished, and how far you've come. I challenge you to sit and think about this sometime. You will be surprised what you may come up with. You will start to see patterns and cycles in your work/job experiences that have shaped you, shaped your decisions, and helped develop your thinking. It may not be all that pretty in some instances, but nevertheless, it's an opportunity to grow and learn from your past.


Reflection on the past can be a good thing, but just be sure you don't stay there and wallow in your past mistakes and past sorrows. But it's fun to look back on your past jobs. Try it!!



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