work_life_bannerEven though I have never had a full-time job in my nearly (gulp) thirty years of life, I’ve always kept my part-time jobs for an inordinately long time.  My first job not answering phones for my father or baby-sitting, was Dairy Queen when I was fifteen.  I kept that job for a full year, and picked up another one on top of it just to break the monotony of making Blizzards.  That next job– Bjornson Oil– I stayed at for four years.

After setting that precedent, I kept my two main jobs– TV station and Barnes & Noble for five years each, and interspersed those with other more minor gigs, most of which I worked at for at least two years.  Basically, except for a two week stint as a hotel housekeeper when I was 21, I had never had a job for less than a year that wasn’t a temp job–ever.

Then I moved to Rhode Island.

I was thinking about this yesterday, as I updated my employment section on Facebook.  I’m very meticulous when it comes to that section, for some reason, and feel great annoyance with people who aren’t the same about theirs.  Those people probably only have one job, and have had it for years, where I update mine every three months or so.

Since moving here I have worked at three libraries–two public, one private; done a year as a URI Graduate Assistant; was hired as an adjunct professor, and then got cut along with the budget;  and I am now a magazine editor.  That doesn’t sound like a ton of jobs– 6 in total–but I haven’t even lived here two years. That’s a lot of paperwork.

I sat down with a friend who works in public radio a while ago, and we talked about my many jobs for a piece she’s working on.

“Why do you think it is that you’ve never had a full-time job?” she asked.

I sat there for a full minute before admitting that I really have no idea, but that I’ve never really known what I want to do, therefore, never wanted to commit to something full-time that I was half-hearted about.  Also, doing something FULL-TIME always sounded so time-consuming and dull, so much like my parents.

Now, I would really like a full-time job, but no one is offering me one– bittersweet irony.

What I really don’t know is whether or not it makes me look bad for never having had a full-time job, or if all the part-time work I’ve done makes me more well-rounded.  Even though I have all these degrees, whenever someone says something like “professional job interview,” I get very sqeamish and feel like a dirty-faced kid again.  Professional just doesn’t sound like me.  Perhaps if I got a suit and wore it around the house…

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