It's weird that I'm posting this during the summer, when I'm not even at any of the jobs I'm about to extol, and, in fact, will not be returning to any of the following positions (although I super-hope I can get a similar post at my new college; also I totally applied for a job at the local library). But hey, that's what happens when you have over forty post ideas lined up.
In this post, I'm gonna talk about my job history, ignoring the writing part, because my job history says a lot about me and my interests. I have... issues with jobs, you see. Mostly the part where way too many of them are boring.
So what jobs have I had, leading up to my semi-life changing post as copy editor at the ASU school newspaper, The Paw Print? Why don't we take a look-see?
OK, I'll be honest. I don't have the most spectacular job history, if you're talking actual jobs that aren't writing novels. I'm kind of lazy. Or stubborn. Or disabled. Whichever term you prefer, haha. At the center of all this lack of jobness, though, is my determination that any job I don't enjoy in some way will kill my spirit.
It's true, you know. I'm an artist. I don't do mediocre. Or... adult.
So the first job I ever got was... junior year of high school? Or was it sophomore? Something like that, anyway. I began over the summer before school, delivering papers to a route for The Los Alamos Monitor. Very small paper, very small salary.
I didn't even intend to do the job at first. My little brother got the job, you see, and he did it for a while over the summer, and I thought it was kind of interesting. So I helped sometimes, when he decided not to actually go out and do it. Eventually, he stopped doing it entirely, so it was left to me and Mom. Which is how I got a paper route.
The route ended up under my name, but Mom took half the pay because she did most the work. By which I meant she actually threw the papers. I drove. It was my practice for learning to drive, which I hate. Still. I don't do much driving. Scares me. Anyway, we'd occasionally shift jobs, but it was a pretty efficient system.
So I had that job til about March of that school year, I think, when Mom decided it was too much hassle for a really pathetic pay, plus I was getting sick with the dear lovely fibromyalgia that y'all have heard so much about. So then we were finito with it. Which brought me to my next... kind of job.
Animal Shelter Volunteer
By volunteer, of course, I mean, I got no pay. So it wasn't really a job, but you can put it on resumes, so I'm counting it.
How this happened was my sophomore year I got into the National Honor Society. To stay in NHS, you have to complete service, and, well, I love animals. Especially cats, but most animals, really. The animal shelter had always interested me as a service opportunity. So Mom and I went over there, and got officially trained to do things, like play with cats, and brush them, and keep them from killing each other.
I really liked doing this. I did it all through high school, and I'll probably go again while I'm here at home. If I get another chance to volunteer at a shelter, like, at college, I'm taking it. Like I said, I really love animals. I spent all my time in the Cat Room, partially because the dog area was loud as freaking heck, and I loved it. The Los Alamos Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter, except for in cases of severe disease and such, which is a huge bonus.
The culmination of all of this was when I fostered a tiny black and white kitten over the summer before college, because every other foster home was filled. Some of you know how that turned out. Yes, that kitten became the fourth cat in our home, my second. Her name is Zoey, and she is beautiful. :)
That brings us finally to the main job of this post. Le copy editing at le Paw Print at le college I will no longer be attending.
How I got involved in this one... well, college is expensive. That's the main reason. My parents are paying for it, plus scholarships, so there's been a lot of stress on the finances at home. So in the middle of my first semester, Mom told me I needed to get a job to help. Well, being me, I protested, a lot. Jobs are soul-sucking, after all. The only thing I could imagine when talking about a college job was sitting behind a desk slowly dying.
But she had a point. So I sifted through lots of open work studies and tried to find ones I thought might not totally kill me. I had to learn a lot of new skills, like writing resumes and getting applications. Yeah, I stink at adult stuff. Ask anyone who knows me. My college friends were shocked if I went to the store alone.
Anyway, just before Winter Break, this one post came up online, for copy editor at The Paw Print. One of my friends was the sports editor (and later, associate editor) at the paper, and when I brought it up, she heartily recommended it and me both. I was still leery, but I figured checking grammar and stuff couldn't be too bad. I mean, I've edited for over half my life, as a novelist.
So I applied, and when I came back from Winter Break, interviewed and promptly got the job. And as soon as I started, everything was just amazing. As copy editor, I was essentially third highest in rank at the paper, with almost entire control of the content and wording of the articles. This position was granted me immediately, so there was no climbing up the ladder. I was essentially independent, which I also like. Writers sent me their articles, I edited them, and then gave them to the other editors to put on the newspaper pages. On top of that, I was allowed to send the writers feedback, which I was already much prepared for, as a critique partner and member of many writing communities.
Basically, I loved it, a lot. I didn't expect that, but it turns out copy-editing was made for me. I probably should have known, given that I do have a grammar freak in me, but I didn't catch on until I started it. And I love it so much, I made the decision to have copy-editing be my designated day job after I graduate college. That is, until I get all famous for my novels. :)
Come back next time for a guest post by a character! Nominations are still out for who's going to write it. You can name any of my characters. An actual poll with post names is also up at my Facebook page. Thanks for your support!
Images via acroprint.com, faithfriends.us, and publishingperspectives.com.
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. Basically, stories are my life.
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