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I’m late. I’ve been meaning to write this post all week. I think #FirstSevenJobs is a great trending meme. It shows that careers and life are often a non-linear journey. It’s also not all privilege. Many (most?) successful people started off from very humble beginnings.

But as I was trying to list out my first seven jobs, I came to the realization that I have done a lot of different things for money and out of interest before I settled into my career. Many of them also overlapped each other and I couldn’t quite remember which came first. I also worked all throughout University.

So I’m going to break the rules. Rather than only list my first seven jobs, I’m going to list all of the gigs I took on before getting into the business I’m in today. Like Seth Godin though, I’m in a way thinking of these more as projects, than as jobs.

Here’s my list:

  1. Bagged and carried people’s groceries at Sobeys
  2. Shovelled dirt at a green house
  3. Sales Associate in computer department at Staples
  4. Traveling Sales Representative for Hewlett-Packard
  5. Sold burnt CDs at my high school (until everyone else had a CD burner and I lost my unique value proposition)
  6. Built custom computers (anyone remember when overclocking was a thing?)
  7. Mover (usually for offices)
  8. Sales Associate at Sony Store (these stores no longer exist)
  9. Started online community for students at (I clearly didn’t execute as well as Facebook)
  10. Model/actor with Ford Models (included one summer in Taipei and Hong Kong)
  11. Waiter at a Thai restaurant on Queen Street (I lasted 1 week; I hated serving people)
  12. Started daily photoblog at (shut down about 15 years ago)
  13. Nightclub promoter
  14. Paid DJ at exactly 1 wedding
  15. Sales Associate at trendy clothing store
  16. Sales Associate with Telus Mobility dealer (sold mobile phones)
  17. Security Guard (paid reasonably well and gave me time to study in undergrad)
  18. Intern at Canadian Architect (magazine)
  19. Intern Architect
  20. Teaching Assistant at the Wharton School
  21. Started global real estate listing platform (failed)
  22. Development Intern (real estate)

Looking back, it’s probably no surprise that I studied computer science before studying architecture.

What’s your list?

Please share in the comment section below. Feel free to keep it to seven if that’s what you prefer. But I found that difficult.

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