PORTLAND - A Portland woman plans to work a different job every week for a year.
“I just turned 60, but I feel like it’s never too late,” said Linda Chase. She is 14 weeks into her job journey and so far she’s made coffee, served popcorn at the movies and been a middle school aide just to name a few.
“The weirdest job is being a campaign worker and standing on the corner with people so passionate about a candidate. It’s like they’d all had a triple shot of espresso,” she joked.
Linda decided to juggle jobs each week after meeting Canadian author Sean Aiken on an airplane. He produced a documentary based on his own experience working 52 jobs in a single year after he finished college.
“It was like a light bulb went on and I thought I’m someone who could do this,” she remembered. Her working hours are being documented by a filmmaker so her story can be shared.
“She’s 60 years old and has raised two kids. It’s a lot different doing this now than when someone is in their twenties,” said Jason deParrie-Turner of Heliorana Film.
Linda lost her husband to cancer three years ago. An extensive job search lead to only a few interviews even though she has a Masters in Speech Communication.
“We went through foreclosure and a lot of hard knocks but this was a way to get me out the door in the morning,” she explained. She admits the whole concept sounded exhausting but has found the experience to be therapeutic. “I do feel stressed with planning each job and blogging about each one but it’s been so good for me to feel useful,” she said.
Only a third of the jobs so far have paid and so many of her “work” hours have been as a volunteer.
With her two children in college and rent to pay, she is looking for more positions that pay or sponsors for the project. Asked about her favorite job at this point, the animal lover was quick to respond.
“I don’t think anything can top being an alpaca ranch hand.” She has 38 more weeks to find out.