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Category: Work, Employment / Topics: Personal Stories (Biography/Autobiography) Memories Values Work

Umpteen Jobs

by Dan Seagren

Posted: May 28, 2017

Sometimes 2-3 jobs at once was an enriching experience…

At times I marvel at the debt accrued by so many students (plus adults and governments). Let me share some of the jobs that allowed me to go debt free when I finished nine years of post high school education (college, seminary, grad school). I'll start with my first allowance as a child: 5 cents upped later to a dime. Then I peddled a route of magazines lucky to collect 20-25 cents a week and my allowance ended. Then I took over a daily newspaper route for $2.20 a week and entered high school. A neighbor asked me if I wanted to work in his factory so I worked part-time for my Junior-Senior years and also cut grass one season for a doctor.

After high school while waiting the WW2 draft, I worked for a contractor and in a Grainery which did wonders for my hay fever. Then the Navy paid me about $50 to $75 a month. College allowed me to work in its dining room the first year. The second year I teamed up with another student and we made home made candy, a Swedish hard mint, white with red stripes, 25 pounds at a time. We became so proficient that the boss asked us to make them look more home made. The GI Bill helped pay the bills as well.

Then off to the University for two years where I worked for three different Sororities. The third one kept me busy for all three meals including breakfast when I swept the sidewalk and shoved snow as well. Charming girls and a motherly-type cook were all a busboy needed. I also taught piano lessons to youngsters and finished my Bachelor's degree debt free with no assistance from home.

Seminary beckoned and I found a part-time youth pastor job which supplemented another church choir director's role and also drove a school bus. The second year I worked in my own denomination as a youth pastor again and spent the summer in another Baptist church in a distant city. I then transferred to our seminary and again was supported as youth pastor in the third Baptist church and drove a Chicago city bus and graduated debt free. My first church as a full-time pastor supported me for two years as did the rest of my career as pastor, international pastor, chaplain and I made a few dollars writing. My wife worked part-time in a delightful gift shop during my last position before retirement.

Yes, it can be done. Sometimes 2-3 jobs at once probably didn't enhance my grade point average but it was an enriching dimension as well as a debt reducing agent and I do recommend it as both a debt inhibitor and peace of mind.


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: May 28, 2017   Accessed 108 times

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