My previous jobs – Life before blogging
As an Independent woman, living in a foreign country, I have no choice but to work hard. I am determined to make both ends meet because, for me, there is no backup plan or safety net. I used to complain about the lack of employment stability, the precarious salary levels, working conditions and employment contracts here in Spain. But now, I know that real stability comes from within and I realise that flexibility is strength. Thanks to my varied experience in different sectors in the past, it is easy for me to adapt to new working situations now. Here are some of my previous job titles:
Shop assistant – My very first job was as a job shop assistant at C&A clothes shop. I was based in the women’s department and it was hard work being on call in and around the changing rooms.The only thing I ever seemed to say to customers was ‘how many items would you like to keep?’ Then I just seemed to return to the racks and hang items up again. It was a monotonous routine.The bright strip-lighting stung my eyes and sometimes, as it was usually on Saturday that I was on duty, I had a hangover from the night before. The hardest thing was having to stand up for so long. I spent most of the time wishing my life away just so that I could go home sooner.
Waitress – Waitressing was absolutely essential to help me pay my way through my student days. Although it was easy money, I was never very good at carrying the plates and I even dropped a stack or two. It was quite a stressful job but, if you smile, it can be quite profitable, because of the tips. Now, when I go to a restaurant, I am always extra polite to the waitress. I am convinced that this is because of my previous experience. Seeing what actually goes on behind the serving hatch has taught me to avoid complaining, in almost all circumstances.
Bartender – This was a highly sociable job. Sometimes I even worked in the kind of places that I would like to go to in my free time. This was ideal as I did not spend any money. I was earning it, and networking, without being drunk like everyone else. Luckily, working in a bar was only ever a temporary arrangement. I used the experience as a source of motivation to work harder at my studies.This meant that I did not have to contemplate working in a bar ever again.
Marketing Intern – This was in Paris during my year abroad. It was my first office job, so sitting down seemed like a real luxury at the time. Having my own desk and computer made me feel much more important. I had a personal corporate email address and I found myself dealing with people from all over the world on a daily basis. It was wonderful and I loved the formal atmosphere, strangely enough.
Interpreter – When I was in Paris, I was lucky enough to get a job as an interpreter and go to Japan with a French businessman. He needed to have English translated into French. It was an amazing experience. But, with the time difference, jet lag and the need to be translating all the time, it proved to be a constant challenge both mentally and physically. Despite this, it was an incredible opportunity to experience the real Tokyo. This inspired me to work internationally and travel.
Photo by Lourdes Ribas
English Teacher – This was my first job in Spain because, in the beginning, I didn’t speak any Spanish. It was, most definitely, not my passion. But, despite this, I know I was good at it because I am skilled at explaining things and simplifying them. It really helps that I am also a language student myself.Teaching was great for honing my presentational skills. Each class was a performance.
Door to door sales – Selling internet and fibre optic TV in Barcelona. The worst job I have ever had in my life. I mean no offence to anyone who does this for a living. It requires confidence, tenacity and the ‘gift of the gab’. Sometimes, after knocking on a door, I was relieved when there was no answer. And then I got sacked. At the time, I was distraught, but now I’m so glad.
IT Help desk – This was in Barcelona, working with the French team resolving IT issues for people in Paris by netmeeting. I loved spending my whole day speaking French and then going home to speak Spanish to my flatmates. It had been several years since I had spoken French at work and it was great to get my skills back up to scratch. I met some amazing friends in this job. It was like a paid Erasmus. I even had sex at work. Sadly, I got sacked from this job too. It is a long story (but it had nothing to do with the sex).
Export sales representative – I worked as an export sales representative in several sectors. In one, I ended up taking my employer to court. It was a very intense experience but I won the case and the settlement paid for a holiday to New York. I considered going to live in London to get a ‘proper job’ but then I found a position in a Spanish printing firm instead. I had clients in Paris, London and Amsterdam. Some of them were in the erotic sector. I handled the accounts for the publishers of hardback erotic and fetish books. I began collaborating creatively with one of them as a fetish model. I could never imagine that my hobby would become my job.
Real estate agent – I worked in luxury real estate before I became a blogger. I was self-employed and had no regular salary. I worked on a commission-only basis instead. My clients were mostly expats who were location independent. They were usually looking for a pied-á-terre in Barcelona. Many of them worked online and they were a huge inspiration for me to change my life. The worst thing about real estate was that you could spend Monday to Friday being really busy with lots of viewings, writing property descriptions and organizing future viewings and still not earn one single Euro. It was too much for me at the end.
Now time is money. Since I’ve become a blogger I’ve had the chance to broaden my professional horizons in ways I never could have imagined. Examples of my entrepreneurship have included: fetish consultant, fellatio teacher, femdom instructor, commercial model and actress, sex columnist, sex toy designer, Spain’s first professional sex toy tester, vlogger, scriptwriter, video editor, author of three books, journalist, photographer, innovator of new language teaching method (English for Perverts with Penguin Random House), radio panellist, public speaker, radical feminist thinker and lecturer.
I should really think about booking a holiday…