The Billfold is proud to present an ongoing feature about First Jobs, primarily focused on what they paid then and for comparison’s sake what they pay now, but also everything about them from the hilarious to the terrible. Today’s subject: our very own Nicole Dieker and her parents.
Nicole Dieker: I did all kinds of babysitting, church organist-ing, and retail working jobs in high school and college, but my first “real” job as an adult was working as a telemarketer. I’ve told this story on The Billfold before. When I got the job in 2004, it paid $9 an hour plus commission, which averaged out to about $11 an hour. I suspect it pays much the same today. (Editor’s note: The average median income of a telemarketer in 2014 is $34,000/year, or just over $16/hour.)
June 2014 stats:
Total earnings: $3,901.74
Completed pieces (all types): 98
Essays/articles published: 45
In January 2014, I wrote 150 pieces and only three of them were bylined essays. This was the start of the “How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living” series, the entry in which I fantasized about moving past the low-paid copy and content jobs and “eventually becoming Nicole Dieker.”
To my absolute astonishment, that actually happened.