Joann Fabric associate--10 months
BYU paint crew--1.5 years
lifeguard and swim instructor--6 months
independent painter--1 year
I went back to school in 2010 at the local community college to finish out my drafting/autocad certificate that I had started in Washington right after my mission. (My art history bachelor's degree is worthless to me.) But when I finished last December, I wasn't able to seriously look for a job because I knew we were moving in 8 months or less.
And when I got here, I thought for sure no one would hire me, based on my pathetic employment history and huge gap of no employment, even after getting my certificate.
But then there was a craigslist post from a contractor seeking a drafter for some of his projects. I applied, and he responded immediately. We had a phone interview (which, if any of you know about how much I despise talking on the phone to strangers, you can imagine how well that went). He said he probably wouldn't be able to pay me even the minimum of what he posted, and that he'd get back with me the next week when he was back in town.
I got off the phone feeling like absolute crap, and feeling quite sure I'd never hear from him again. The next week passed. I gave up hope about the job. Another week passed. And then this past Monday, I come home to a message from him, asking if I'm still looking for work. I called back, and he told me to come in that day, and he'd start me working.
Here's the great thing about it--he wanted me to work on his computer in his office, but it turns out that his autocad subscription has expired (it's thousands of dollars), but I still have the student version on my computer at home. So I get to work from home, designing in my own time (it's only part time). Which means that Mea gets to be with me all day still. I report back to him daily, and when I complete a project (I finished my first today!), then I have to take the plans into downtown Chicago to the building department to get them approved. And he's paying me more than he said on the phone a few weeks back.
So it all works out beautifully. I don't know how long he'll be able to employ me--he's a licensed contractor, but he also owns a mailing/printing company, which is what he spends most of his time doing. So I just have a few projects lined up right now, but he said it may expand to more. But at least I'm getting real experience and will have something substantial to put on my resume. And maybe we won't have to take out as many student loans to get us through these four years. We'll see.