I had my very first job when I was 17. It was Summer break and my mom suggested I get a job so I wouldn’t have to sit at home devising crazy ideas that could potentially harm me or her house. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit within me, even at the age of 11, such as that time I took paraphernalia from my parents home and went door to door trying to sell it so I could buy more Sanrio stationery. “I can’t be the only girl with last years pens!” I muttured as I lugged my Costco (or Priceclub at the time) box full of goodies. I’ll admit, not the brightest nor safest idea for an 11 year old to execute, but I did learn one thing and that is – people will succumb to a kid trying to sell used golf balls and instant noodles.
My short-lived time at Baskin Robbins taught me one and only one lesson – find a job that plays to your strengths rather than your weaknesses. I stand at 4’11 and that hasn’t changed in the past decade. My job there was to service customers – i.e. scoop their ice cream and charge them – but I couldn’t even do the first part right. I couldn’t reach far down enough to get a nice scoop, even on tippy toes. Not only was it hard to reach the bins of ice cream, but scooping it was another issue on its own. The ice cream was hard as rock. Suffice it to say, I was fired within a week.
Baskin Robbins was the onset of many crazy jobs that I’ve held in the past 10 years. To date – I’ve had 18 jobs, 7 which were full-time – and that doesn’t include my current work.
I know studies have shown that millennials are more prone to job hopping due to the need for greater job fulfillment vs. former generations who believe that work is work (according to my mom), but that often left me wondering why I wasn’t fulfilled. I often found reasons to hate work, whether it was my bosses, coworkers, office politics, 3 hour long commutes, or being confined to a cubicle and desk all day.. My job hopping left me unsatisfied, lost, and a hardcore wino.
Once I turned 26, enough was enough. I took a day to myself for some introspection and for the first time in my life, everything was clear as day. It was never my bosses, coworkers, or any of the other shit I thought was attributing to my unhappiness – it was me. I wanted a life where I could make my own schedule, have an outlet for creativity, not have to report to anyone, and know that what I was doing was helping the world somehow.
I quit my job, started an ecommerce store dropshipping sex toys as a source of income (this isn’t what I meant by helping the world) while I figured out a more permanent plan, and vowed to never settle for another job. I eventually sold the ecommerce store for a good profit and started my own skincare company with that money. The lesson I learned from this whole experience? Believe in yourself because no one else has the time and energy to support you in the way that you would like them to. You will find one thing when starting your own company, and that is, as much as your friends and family want to support you, they can only do so much. After the initial period of excitement dies down, you are all you have. Verbal support, as great as it is, doesn’t make things happen. That’s why believing in yourself, your ideas, and your goals is a crucial step to success.
I quit my job with barely any savings and started the store with $200. It can be done. Screw convention.