Confessions of a Wedding Singer

I now make half my living as a wedding singer, and I got no shame about that. Being a wedding singer is possibly, by far, the best job I’ve ever had.

Scraping a Living at a Crêpes Restaurant

“Are you afraid of getting burned?” asked my supervisor as I gingerly lifted a floppy, undercooked crêpe with a spatula. I looked at it with dismay as it fell apart. She swept it off to the side with one long motion of her own spatula, greasing the griddle again. “I’m not,” she said as I struggled to spread the thick buckwheat batter evenly on the huge griddle.

A Cupcake Decorator Gets Fired for Being a Hero

For three sweet weeks in 2008 while the economy was on the brink of extinction, I decorated cupcakes. The job—froster at a cupcakes-only bakery—came from my roommate, who worked there on weekends. She was working part-time at the ACLU during the week. The decorator job opened up when she got a full-time spot campaigning for Death with Dignity.

The Hours We Put In

If you’ve got a 9-to-5 kind of job, have you noticed yourself working longer hours but not seeing any additional financial benefits from putting in the extra hours?

When Teens Commute to Part-time Jobs

On the other hand, if you’re in rural America everything is 30 minutes away because towns are small, and if you’re in urban America everything is 30 minutes away because cities are large. Limiting teenagers’ options to jobs that can be reached in five minutes is, literally, limiting.

Working According to Our Circadian Rhythms

Here’s my ideal work schedule: Wake up at 6:30 a.m., and start reading the news while having a cup of coffee.

Fixing the Hiring Process

It’s been nearly six years since I’ve had to go through the job-hunting and interview process and hope I don’t have to do so again for a very long time (if ever again). On Backchannel, Deborah Branscum examines why the way we typically hire for jobs is all wrong.

My Borderline Unhealthy Obsession With Job-Hunting

My mom has a saying: Be hopeful, not desperate.

Starting A New Job Right

Day 1, I had to convince my principal to act like an adult and show me around.

On Working Retail: The Gymboree Option

I could have sold baby clothes at Gymboree in any mall in the country forever and been perfectly happy. Not that selling baby clothes is a bad job. This was before the recession, before any job was a good job. I started in 1995 and I was 17. I had just gotten a car and a license and I needed a job. When I thought about my job job, when I was a real adult, I knew I just wanted to write, but I also knew I was not the starving artist type. Even then, I knew.

Job of the Day: Drake’s Vocal Coach

Oh lord almighty, Jia interviewed Drake’s vocal coach about what her job is like and how she came into it and it is amazing. Dionne Osborne is her name and she is a middle-aged white lady who urges Drake not to drink so much and took him to a WalMart in the middle of Kansas to buy a humidifier. It is, as Dionne will be the first to point out, the coolest job in the world: “I get to help people find their voice. What could be cooler? What could be more personal? Your voice is you.”

The Value of ‘Company Culture’

I am an inveterate comparison shopper. The internet is a vast trove of unfiltered community, each site brimming with hundreds of thousands of desk jockey and stay-at-home moms, eager to share their opinion with anyone who will listen. I consult product reviews before I do pretty much anything, getting lost in the mire of Amazon reviews of cat litter, or customer reviews of the boots I’m about to buy. My search for a dutch oven that doesn’t cost an arm and leg is an ongoing, two-year quest, enhanced by constant consumer research. I like my decisions helped along with the opinions of others. I apply this same principle to the job search. That is why I have embraced the glory of Glassdoor.com.

Selling Sexless Sex at Abercombie & Fitch

One day in college, on what would have otherwise been a forgettable afternoon, two attractive people approached me outside of my department. The man, with his bionic back, parabolic pectorals and arms fixed at right angles, cut an intimidatingly precise figure. The woman was an implausible series of distends, curves and stares—all unnervingly suggestive. There were no introductions or pleasantries; instead, they presented me with a pristine white card. Looking down at it in hope of an explanation, I read, “Abercrombie and Fitch recruitment.” They stood back proudly and expectantly, letting what I suppose they thought was an honor sink-in. When I showed no response, they resorted to their pitch. They told me that they needed someone like me and that I would really enjoy working at the company. Everyone was exceedingly “cool” and, in fact, it “wouldn’t even seem like a job.”

Job of the Day: Barista For The CIA Starbucks

The CIA Starbucks looks just like regular Starbuckses, except there is no writing names on cups and if someone questions the baristas too much they’re supposed to report it. Also there is a very long line since employees aren’t exactly running in and out and going for walks to ‘grab a coffee’ off the premises.

An Interview With David Melito, Hollywood Production Accountant

I met David Melito a few weeks ago when I was on vacation in Los Angeles. We were talking about our shared interest in money, mine because—well, you’re reading The Billfold right now, aren’t you?—and his because he’s a production accountant in the film industry.