#WhatIf: A Strange List of Jobs I Almost Had

What if, in an alternate life, I was just like James Bond???

What if, in an alternate life, I was just like James Bond???

Do you ever look back on your life and consider the alternate routes it could have taken? What would have happened if you’d said yes instead of no to a question?

Maybe I’d be living in a different city, maybe I’d have lost or gained significant friendships, maybe I’d be driving a luxury car, and by luxury I mean one that came with cruise control…

I’m a storyteller and writer at heart. I often reflect on the choices one makes and the ‘what if’s’ had the choice been different. After all, that’s really just plot we’re talking about. How will the world around you change by choosing x instead of y?

My day job is in the process of transition and it got me thinking about the many different transitions my career has had to date. If I ignore actual position titles, and go by the tasks I completed day to day, then I have worked in the following fields:

  • professional alphabetizer
  • storage room cleaner
  • napkin folder
  • duster of knick knacks
  • pizza maker and garbage taker-outer
  • gift wrapper
  • sales auditor
  • bra fitter
  • coach and counselor for commission sales team (AKA: the shark pit)
  • latte maker
  • social media guru
  • sex trivia host

And that got me thinking to what I could’ve done in my career had a few application processes gone different. Imagine it, somewhere in an alternate universe, I am known as Jess Witkins:

  • district level lingerie manager
  • Catholic school secretary
  • organic farm office manager
  • grocery store deli worker
  • hotel night manager
  • bank teller
  • or if my father had his way, cake decorator  – which could work if y’all are in the mood for an “abstract” trend in the bakery business. God, remember that time I attempted to bake a tart??!

I can’t say I regret any of these “lost” positions. But I found it most entertaining to consider what life would have been like had I…worked in close proximity with nuns or spent eight hours shaving a honeyed ham.

Life would be very different. I might even pick one of these faux jobs and use it as a writing prompt just for giggles.

What about you? What alternate life would you lead had a past job application worked out?
Do we share a pension for habits and ham? 😉

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14 responses

  1. Oh my gosh! Sometimes, these thoughts pop-up, I usually dash them though, because I am a firm believer in: “we chose this life we’re leading before we were born.” Yeah.

    But, when I simply play “what-if?” I am a real-estate mogul (or the mistress to a real estate mogul…long story), I am an actress! (that probably should have come before the real-estate thing.) I am child psychologist.

    Luckily, I am a long time wrangler at a library and a writer and a dreamer.

    And, Jess, the Catholic School thing…I’m kinda shuddering.

    1. LOL. I think I would be too.

      A real estate mogul or mistress to one? Sounds like a story!

  2. I think District Level Lingerie Manager has a nice ring to it. Then again, anything with lingerie in the title has a nice ring to it.

    I could’ve been an insurance salesman. Except I hate sales and think the insurance industry is full of crooks. Good thing I became a writer instead!

    1. Haha, Mark! Yah, there’s nothing exciting about insurance salesman. Writer has a great ring to it!

  3. Hmm, lingerie manager and Catholic school secretary next to each other seems kinda weird.

    My coulda, woulda, so glad I didn’t list would include: Human Resources manager, elementary school teacher, daycare center owner, 7/11 store manager, antiques dealer, and Walmart greeter.

    1. Antiques dealer would be fun! Do you dabble in this?

      1. Used to, until I tried to do it for a living. Took all the fun out of it!

        I’m totally thrilled with the professions I did pursue: therapist, college professor, author!

  4. Loved this post! I have had a mish mash of different jobs including:

    Latte maker 😉
    Helping kids learn how to read good
    Paper organizer (and paper airplane folder)

    I have often wondered what the world would be like if Latte makers and bra measurer’s had the same clout and prestige of movie stars and heart surgeons? 😀

    1. Right on! And wouldn’t the world be a more supported (and caffeinated) place? I want to live there!

  5. True story: I worked at a lingerie retail store back in high school. Yep. I was 16 and selling hot pants and teddies. So I guess I could have become the District Manager too!

    1. Sisters! Sisters! They were bra-selling sales sisters!

  6. karenmcfarland | Reply

    Well, you came up with quite a list girl. I don’t know if I can top it. I guess, to be honest, I’m finally doing what I wish I had done years ago. Only I had no idea I was a writer. Say what? I know. No flipping idea. I’m slow. lol. But I must confess that I totally enjoyed my time as a full time mom. So no regrets there. 🙂

    1. If you were a full time mom, then I’m guessing you were also a dishwasher, teacher, chef, water balloon maker, science project captain, caterer, nurse, and lullaby composer. 🙂

  7. […] 20’s involve getting a leg up. You’ll do crap jobs to work your way up a ladder you’re not sure you want to climb, but that’s ok. Say YES! […]

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