Day 290: Odd Jobs

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October 16, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I don’t want to sound as though I’m bragging, but I’m proud that in a time when much of our country – actually much of our world – is looking for a job, I have three.  Don’t let that fool you, though: I’m not generating three paychecks or getting three times the job satisfaction of anyone else.  I’m just busy, but appreciatively so.  I like working.  I like having a sense of purpose at all times.  (Even when I’m relaxing, I’m relaxing with purpose.)  I don’t think I’m alone in that, and I admire anyone who wants to work – who wants to be a part of something and contribute and maintain a sense of purpose in their routines and their lives.  I think that in an economic environment such as the one we face now, the huge uncertainty that so many people deal with every day catalyzes a change of plans in the way they think about work.  Maybe work itself might not be fulfilling, but it pays for fulfillment in other ways.  Sometimes, though, the work really is fulfilling.  That’s magic.  That’s something worth searching for, and it might not be a brief search, either.  Andrew Edwards knows this search well, and has learned a lot along the way about what employment means and what it means to him to be employed.  He’s worked more jobs in the past few years than most will ever have a chance to experience, and his new book chronicling the adventure might help you shorten (or lengthen, if you’re predisposed to wanderlust) your journey to job satisfaction.  Check out the project and back it before October 17.

I decided to take a seasonal job in Glacier National Park for the summer of 2009.  Since then, while looking for permanent positions, I have taken a wide variety of gigs – some that lasted one day and others, a few months.  I began writing stories about these experiences, and before I knew it, I had nearly a dozen.  An aunt suggested that I compile these into a book, and now three years later, I have written nearly twenty stories.  Some of these gigs were really depressing, while others were a blast, like the one where I did a flash dance with 100 other Marios in downtown Chicago.


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