The Worst Job I’ve Ever Had

Man breaking computer at his desk at the worst job ever

I got my start in the space working at a large publishing company. My job title was HTML & CSS Production Specialist.

It sounds fancier than it was… Essentially, my job was to copy and paste content written by someone else… into an email template made by someone else…  and then send it out to people.

It was a boring job. And the worst part was that I was usually the last person in the production line…

Everything starts with the idea. A light bulb flashes over someone’s head and then they share it with a copywriter.

Then the copywriter writes the sales package… A promotion, editorial content, marketing emails…

Our legal team goes back and forth with the writer to make sure we’re good to go.

All the approved content goes through a content manager who chops it up and plans the schedule.

And the final piece was copyediting to catch any misspellings, mistakes, and the like.

All that before reaching me.

Elaine from Seinfeld on Hulu stressed out at her desk

On top of that, we moved fast. Sometimes that would all happen in a single day. Idea to sales package to legal review to content planning…

I often found myself at the office as everyone was leaving, only just beginning to get a full schedule worth of content to set up and get out.

I remember many late nights monotonously setting up email after email… The only people left in the building were me and our CEO.

It sounds chaotic… which it was… but it was working. The fast-paced, idea-generation and execution was creating tons of success for our business.

That success created more chaos as we hired more people and generated more ideas to execute on.

What sucked the most was that I was only a pawn in that success. I wasn’t contributing any more than someone else with a computer could.

I saw people contributing to the success of the business (and getting rewarded for it) and I was jealous.

But this still wasn’t the worst job I’ve ever had…

The real worst job I ever had was being a waiter right out of high school while I was going to community college.

It wasn’t a particularly difficult job. In fact, I only ever worked like 4 hours a few times a week and made ok tips during my time there.

So why this job over the chaotic, monotonous job that often had me working late into the evening?

You see, instead of complaining or quitting I decided to figure out how I could get more involved… I figured out how I could get a piece of the success that business was having.

One of the obscure benefits of my role there was that I saw everything… the entire process… from top-to-bottom.

From the idea generation… to the sales package… to the content planning.

I started to study each of those things and think about what was working and why it worked.

My job became a crash course in direct response and I took full advantage. I knew what was working… I knew our competition inside and out… and I knew the biggest players in the office.

So while most people would have quit or complained to their co-workers…

I saw an opportunity and I took it. Within 6 months, I transitioned into a marketing role…

And 6 months after that I became the Monetization Director.

I went from the last in line to running the entire marketing calendar… approving all the content… and managing lists of hundreds of thousands of contacts.

So while my waiter job was easier and didn’t have crazy hours, there wasn’t any opportunity.

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