Finding that perfect job takes time, patience, and plenty of perseverance. However, each job you hold while moving a step closer to your dream career is not for naught. No matter how bizarre, belittling, or boring the role, you’re learning something new, making connections, and building skills for your resume.
In honor of Labor Day, we asked iHire associates to share their most unique, interesting, and even humorous job experiences. Whether they loved or loathed these roles, what did iHire employees learn from their unusual and, in some cases, weird jobs?
These nine unique jobs and career stories are sure to give you job search inspiration (or maybe make you laugh):
“The most unique job I have ever had was being a Division I college mascot. I was University of South Florida’s Rocky D. Bull for four years while pursuing my undergraduate degree. I learned the importance of having a strong professional/personal network, and even gained career clarity because I knew after working this job that the sports industry was my true passion.”
Laura Wilhelm, Account Executive
“When I was 13 years old, I was hired by a local hardware store to assemble new bicycles. They hid me in the basement because I was too young to have a paying job. This opportunity allowed me to begin my customer service journey. In the basement, I would see customers struggling to find items, so I would sneak out from behind my curtain and provide guidance on where to find something or when we would have a restock. My boss found out what a great job I was doing and promoted me to floor assistant once I could be ‘on the books.’
I found my calling for helping and supporting people, understanding business processes, negotiation skills (to do what I knew was the right thing), and the importance of regulatory compliance.”
Kevin Engelhardt, Customer Success Manager
“The most unusual job I’ve had was driving around the beer cart on a golf course. Apart from learning that I’m a horrible golf cart driver and getting the worst farmer’s tan on my left arm, it was great for my customer relations skills.
Prior to working in marketing, I was an Account Manager, where I worked on those skills every day. At the time, I didn’t realize how easy I had it during my golf course days – it’s the easiest job in the world to get people excited for a cart of beer and snacks driving toward them!”
Erin Schwartz, B2B Marketing Manager
“I was 12, and my first job was the military newspaper deliverer for base housing where we lived in England. Around the same time, I had convinced my parents to let me get a dog and some rollerblades. I (of course) promised I would walk the dog and practice my rollerblades, but as a kid, you get busy playing, so I found a way to combine all three activities at once.
From 4 to 4:30 p.m., for seven days a week, you could find me getting dragged and tumbled by a manic cocker spaniel as he led me crashing over tree roots, sidewalk cracks, and potholes while I tried to deliver papers from a huge bag I was carrying. Most of my first few weeks’ income went to Band-Aids, but eventually, I learned fantastic balance, and Elvis learned the paper route better than me. So, after a great deal of trial and error, I was able to roll around behind him on the leash while he delivered me, and I tossed the papers.”
Phil Dahlheimer, Software Developer
“Prior to joining iHire, I spent 12 years working in media relations for college athletics. In that realm, ‘other duties as assigned’ might as well be the job description, as you are responsible for producing content on the web and social media, arranging interviews for outside media, staffing and managing events, and pretty much anything else under the sun.
When I was at Miami University, their hockey team played in the Hockey City Classic, an outdoor game at the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field. We were set to play that afternoon, but it was unseasonably warm for February in Chicago and technical difficulties with maintaining the ice caused a two- to three-hour delay. When the game was played, I discovered in the second period that the stadium staff gave my videographer the wrong credential and would not allow him access to film. So, I needed to track someone down to get him the proper access while I was coordinating for my photographer to be able to get to where he needed to go.
Following the game, I needed to come up with a statement regarding the status of a player who appeared to get pretty seriously injured (he turned out to be fine), march players and the coach to post-game media, and make sure all post-game content was published and distributed.
What I learned from that experience was to keep your head on while under pressure, be flexible with changing circumstances, and keep focused on what needs to be done and do it.”
Chad Twaro, Digital Marketing Specialist
“I was 14 when I started my first job at 'The Corn Stand,' a local resource for in-season fruits, vegetables, and now, freshly baked pastries. I rode my bike to work and enjoyed many hot summer days hauling, organizing, and selling produce. I remember being so nervous starting out as a young kid navigating new conversations with strangers and managing money for the first time. The best lessons I learned that summer were to stay organized, help where you can, and maintain a positive attitude. I’ll always be thankful for the personal and professional growth that came from the experience.”
Sydney Kominos, Client Relationship Manager
“During college, my parents moved away from my childhood home in Massachusetts to middle-of-nowhere Maine. While I was home for summer break, knowing no one and without a place to work, I took a job at the LaChip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich company. Who doesn’t like ice cream?
My job was on the product conveyor belt. Partially constructed cookie sandwiches would come dashing toward me, naked of the signature chocolate chips dotting the outside. I would pick one up, roll it through a platter of delectable chocolate chips, and put it back on the conveyor belt. By the end of my first hour on the job, I could roll two marvelous ice cream cookie sandwiches at a time with exacting precision. That was the end of my upward mobility.
I had a great appreciation of the hard-working people around me, but as a young college kid, I figured I could do better and started immediately looking for other opportunities outside of ice cream production. The following day, I started working at a record store, which ended up being one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had.
(And I’ve never had an ice cream cookie sandwich since.)”
Brian Clapp, Content Marketing Director
“I worked for a former politician with fundraising and marketing. It was very fast-paced, and I helped organized huge rallies and fundraising events. The coolest part was I got to meet a lot of well-known people.
The most difficult part was when the media would interview me, as I had to know the politician’s past and be current of today’s events. One media group insisted I was only 16 and published an article claiming the politician had teens working for him – even though I was in my mid-20s with a Bachelor’s in Marketing!”
Lisa Flatt, Client Relationship Manager
"When I was in high school and college, I was a soccer referee for the Parks and Rec Department. In my five years of experience, I had to unfortunately ask three coaches to leave the field. One of those coaches was my wife’s dad well before I even knew her. I remembered it after the first time met him.”
Gary Turpin, Software Developer
Feeling inspired yet? Find your own unique job, entry-level job, or your dream job on iHire’s 57 industry-specific talent communities.