How did you decide when to change jobs?—Storyworth

How did you decide when to change jobs?

I had several jobs before being drafted in 1966. What they were, and why I changed jobs is interesting to few besides me. (LOL)

First job

I babysat a neighbor’s two children when I was twelve years old. One child was in diapers and the other about three. My employment was brief, maybe three or four times. I quit this job because I had a problem with changing dirty diapers. Yuckie, Yuck!

I took a job in 1963 with the W. T. Grant, Co. store in Peoria, Illinois. I worked in the stockroom for several months. I liked the job, but it meant I had to take a bus home after work. So the Greyhound bus delivered me home after dark. My mother became concerned that the long days were affecting my school grades.

It was an excuse I appreciated as the walks from school to the store and from store to bus station turned cold in November that year. So I quit in early December. I know it was after Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy, for I learned of his death while walking on my way to work that day.

My graduation from Spaulding Institute was on a Saturday in May 1965. That afternoon, I left with a family friend for Waukegan, Illinois. Our friend found me a job in Skokie, Illinois, and I started the following Monday. I was seventeen.

I turned eighteen in October, and I applied for a position at Abbott Laboratories. I sought a better-paying job with more of a future. Abbott offered tuition aid for its employees, and the working conditions were cleaner. I kept production lines supplied with Tygon tubing, needles, bottle adapters, and clamps. The women working the assembly lines created devices used by hospitals and such to give fluids intravenously.

Selective Service SystemI worked at Abbott’s for a year. This time I had no choice but to change jobs. The Selective Service pulled my number, and I received a draft notice. I enlisted for four years in the US Navy rather than go into the Army for three.

The Navy wanted to make me a linguist, but in January 1967, I extended my enlistment to six years to be an Electronics Technician. (I didn’t desire to learn Vietnamese or Chinese.) That summer, I accepted an offer to become a technician in the Naval Security Group (NSG.) It intrigued me since my interviewer refused to describe what my job would entail.

I remained with the NSG until I retired in March 1992 after over twenty-five years of service. I considered staying on active duty for thirty years, but my detailer wouldn’t work with me. I wanted a position where I could be home after work. Instead, he wanted me to accept an assignment that would keep me away from my family for most of the next three years. I considered this unacceptable and retired and took a job with a contractor.

I worked with the Newlink for twenty years. I would have stayed with them until I retired, but the prime contractor for the task I worked on changed. So I left for employment with IMT. I remained there until retiring in 2018.


Each transition was for different reasons. Some reasons were selfish, like quitting Grant’s, intuitive like going to NSG without knowing what I would do, and some reasoned like changing contractors to keep employed on the same task.

Have you changed jobs? Tell me about your experience.

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