You may have noticed people sharing their first seven jobs on social media with some of the jobs ranging from pretty awesome to downright obscure. The trend first began on American Twitter, and while it might have just started off as a way for people to reminisce and realise how far they’ve come, others said it was an attempt by people to show how much the job market has changed.
A Twitter user, Marian Call started the trend asking what were people’s #firstsevenjobs, and they responded in their hordes. Even a few celebrities joined in, showing that even the famous have humble origins.
What were your first 7 jobs?
Babysitting, janitorial, slinging coffee, yard work, writing radio news, voice-overs, data entry/secretarial
— Marian Call (@mariancall) August 5, 2016
The Twitter topic may have been an opportunity for some to take a trip down memory lane and pat themselves on the back for getting so far, but it does also raise important questions around how things are changing.
— ┤│├ @ EarwormAud.io (@_tlr_) August 6, 2016
In a piece published by The Atlantic, Adam Chandler points out that the trend showed careers as a journey, not necessarily (even if often espoused as) doing what you love. He also says the trend brought a certain truth to employment instead of the usual narrative in which people often try to present the best things about their jobs and careers.
While the “older generations” may complain that “millennials” are lazier and expect things to be just handed to them, it’s significant that the job market has changed drastically in the past few years and it’s interesting to see that reflected in people’s real-life experiences.
Mail and Guardian journalist, Sipho Hlongwane, told The Daily Vox about his first seven jobs.
“I first worked, it was a summer job during school, I worked on a dairy farm just helping the people doing the actual milking and herding and all of that,” he said.
From there he went onto work as a waiter, forklift driver, quality assurance manager and now as a journalist. While his first three jobs were boring, it was more important for him to be experiencing new things, he said.
“At that age it is more important for you to be getting new experiences and that’s what excited and stimulated me,” said Hlongwane.
1. Offal Seller
5. IT resourcing
7. Steel Contractor
— #WorkMan (@LedwabaMaila) August 9, 2016
Stall at Rand Show
Sell kids’ games house 2 house
Faculty office gopher
— CIB (@InvasionScience) August 9, 2016
It hasn’t all been serious, though. Some have used the trend to take mickey out their first job, like comedian Stephen Colbert here:
#firstsevenjobs construction, bus boy, cafeteria server, library data entry, futon frame maker, futon salesman, waiter
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) August 7, 2016
And YouTuber Dan Howel:l
lifeguard shadow 👀
axe dealer ⛏
panic alarm presser 🚨
table sleeper 💤
quadruple espresso maker ☕️
internet hobo 💻
— Dan Howell (@danisnotonfire) August 6, 2016
It got real when one tweep highlighted the privilege inherent in actually being able to work seven jobs, as well as the generation gaps that exist in the workplace such as the baby boomers, Gen X, and millennials.
Looking at people’s “first seven jobs” is incredibly revealing of how privilege makes your life go differently.
— Matthew Watkins (@oraymw) August 7, 2016
Have you had seven different jobs? What were they? Comment below or tweet us @thedailyvox.