It’s funny when you write out a resume and you recall all the things that you did or didn’t do. In my long history of working, since 1972, jobs were scarce but available to those with an education, like me. Some jobs I had didn’t make it to my resume, but thinking back, I think I will include them the next time I need a new job. I hope it will be a leading role in a soap opera, which I see as the ideal job. You get to experience just about everything, including acquiring special skills that require you to play the same role for decades, without looking older. You also get away with just about everything, including coming back from the dead, but I’ll deal with real life here.

Back in the 1970s, the only jobs around were for summer students and the recruitment for these jobs was seemingly magic. One day you’re lounging around and the next day at the crack of dawn, you were reporting to work along with the rest of your classmates. I don’t remember filling out any application forms or asking for any work, but somehow, we got jobs.

The list of jobs over the summers for me were mainly related to work that adults tend to shirk and avoid, such as picking garbage, painting buildings, picking more garbage, painting more buildings, and repainting the lousy job we did a few summers earlier.

Then thinking jobs came along with the skills we acquired at school. After a two-year vocational course in typing, we had the job of typing out the entire James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, word for word. Another summer went by, and after learning advanced physics and calculus, I was put to work at the LG-2 Hydro complex, where many Cree worked heavy construction shifts.

I noticed that of all the Cree workers, I was the only one with a white hard hat. Most guys who worked there a long time ago have nice jobs today or are retired. I was the only 17-year-old in the whole project (at least I thought so, because everyone seemed to have some sort of beard, except for the occasional female, who was outnumbered by men 1,000 to one). The experience I gained from that summer didn’t really apply afterwards, as only two dams were built over a 30-year period.

Then, giving up on all things that pay well, I worked for the airline, which somehow managed to pay their employees rates that a Mexican would be proud of. I, of course, having my head in the clouds most of the time, thought that this job was the best ever, except the material wealth was non-existent. At the same time, companies were desperately seeking me, but the employment agent at that time didn’t make the connection between me and my name. So if you ever need to get a job, make sure the employment officer remembers your name and phone number or you will never be called to work.

Techniques for landing a good career are really related to who you want to be, just like the proverbial question, “Who you want to be when you grow up?” is a very serious question that shouldn’t be treated lightly. Some people never realize that they are already grown up physically and never ever get to answer that question in time. So figure out who you want to be and get the right education that suits that answer.

For example, if you want to be a butcher, don’t go to medical school for seven years. If you want to be a police officer, don’t study how to be the bad guy. If you want to be a teacher, don’t stay in school for most of your life.

However, if you want to be a chief or politician, make sure that your resume is full of things that seem humanly unachievable, like the ability to work crowds into frenzy, until the crowd forgets what the heck you’re talking about. To be a preacher, well, you just have to believe in just about everything and pass it around to those who don’t. If you want to be a guy like me, well, you just have to keep on working until people remember who you are.