Thank You and Merry Christmas, Jobs I Left Behind

I LOVE this annoying Christmas song (don’t @ me).

I put myself through college selling engagement rings. Little known fact: I’M A CERTIFIED DIAMONTOLOGIST. Yes, that’s a real thing. I took months of classes on the four Cs to be able to cite this fun fact in emails and website About Mes.

This is where I first met “Brad.” He taught our district-wide sales meetings and showed us how to manipulate any situation into a commission.

What’s this got to do with annoying Christmas songs?

During Christmas, we all worked 50-70 hour weeks – standing in high heels! We’d get there at 7 AM to lay out the diamonds and sprinkle the carpet with glitter to make it sparkle. (Height of sophistication here, folks.)

And we had ONE playlist that opened with “Last Christmas” by Wham! I probs listened to that song 8x a day for 6 weeks every year.

And to this day, I still LOVE “Last Christmas” by Wham! despite listening to it a few thousand times. Because when I hear it, I always time travel back to college RKA with her aching feet and her pencil skirt and her big dreams.

It’s fun to think “I’m living those dreams now. What would she think?!”

It’s also fun to NOT be hawking diamonds anymore while knowing it was those diamonds, in some small way, that got me here.

This wasn’t the job I “quit” to start my biz. That came later.

But I think we can look back at ALL the jobs we left behind with gratitude.

  • Thank you for sucking in all the right ways so I know what it feels like to be in the right place.
  • Thank you for showing me things about myself that completely shifted how I operate in the world.
  • Thanks, Sales Training “Brad” for giving me so many good Awkward Marketing bits.
  • Thank you, Wham! for keeping me company all those long days.

And now that I’ve listened to this song 10x on repeat while writing this post, I’m reminded of another reason to love “Last Christmas”: it’s a damn good “reclaim your life” celebration song for wherever you’re at.

I listen to it now and hear “Last Christmas sucked but THIS year I’m taking it back!”

Don’t we all need a little bit of that energy at the end of the year? WHAM!

Rachael Kay Albers

Rachael Kay Albers is a creative director, business comedian, and brand strategist gone wild. She writes and performs about branding, pop culture, tech, and identity. When she’s not muckraking about marketing, Rachael runs RKA ink, a reinvention studio and branding agency for businesses that burn the rulebook. She's also on Instagram a lot.