A Closet Full of Aprons
The unskilled service worker is a myth. Most service jobs require an abundance of hard-earned skills. Trust me, I speak from experience. I’ve held a total of 30 jobs across several industries, working in cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, hotels, and more. I’ve been the manager, the supervisor, and the new hire. At every level, these jobs are often grueling.
My lengthy work history is an outlier considering the average American will have just 12 jobs in their lifetime. Of course, moving frequently and having multiple jobs at a time were contributing factors. Nevertheless, each two-week notice earned me the title of a chronic job hopper and a closet full of aprons. A pattern that continued postgrad, as I struggled to find a job in my field of study.
Then came the pandemic.
Discovered on LinkedIn
I struggled through the shutdowns and by Fall 2021, while tying the strings of another apron in yet another restaurant, it became clear that I needed to get out of customer service. As I clocked in for a double shift, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. A notification from LinkedIn: Jane Olvera wants to send you a message!
SPAM. I put my phone away and went to work.
By the time that message reached my inbox, I had written and produced various passion projects. Even if no one would hire me to work creatively, I was determined to create. I logged every short film, video project, podcast, and article on my LinkedIn profile, where my bio read Creative Multimedia Storyteller.
The message from Jane was an invitation to apply for a copywriter/producer position at JP Marketing. After some vetting and with nothing to lose, I replied to the spam expecting no reply. Two interviews later and I was hired.
After nearly a decade of customer service, transitioning to agency life has been a surreal experience. Where other jobs were a blur of unremarkable tasks and interactions, every day at JP is new and exciting. Whether I’m writing copy, producing commercials, or pitching concepts to clients, my role allows me to be creative not just as a hobby but as my full-time job.
One of the most significant changes has been adjusting to the results-only work environment (ROWE). Six months later, I still fight the occasional urge to clock in and out, but I love the flexibility that ROWE allows. I can set my schedule, work from anywhere, or go into the office where the company culture is fun and inviting. Working in the creative department, I can collaborate with other writers, artists, designers, and people who inspire me daily.
I was overworked and underappreciated for years, but I know now that I can bring more than just food to the table. I finally feel valued for my unique skills and perspective and with every passing day, I am certain that this job hopper has tied her last apron. I found a home at JP. Agency life is the life for me.
Angelica Hernandez, Copywriter/Producer