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Corporate Loyalty? Pointless! I'm 29 and I've Had 59 Jobs

21/06/2013 00:22 BST | Updated 20/08/2013 10:12 BST

There's always a moment during interviews where things get a bit uncomfortable. Usually we're all getting along marvellously and then it happens. Potential bosses: "So you've had rather a few jobs, no?" Me: "Er."

Because here's the truth, I'm 29 years old and I've had 59 jobs. And as I've only got about eight of them on my CV, worried future employers literally don't know the half of it.

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I've been a waitress, a receptionist, a barmaid, a car-parker, a shoe model, a voice over artist, an actress, a journalist, a dish-washer, a sales person, a gift wrapper, an administrator, a cleaner.

I've worked in pubs, restaurants, greasy spoons, fancy cafes, hospitals, shops, call centres, factories, hotels, councils, McDonald's, pretty much every media organisation in the country.

And that's not the end of it. Christ, it's not even the start.

But here's the thing, even before the recession I didn't believe in corporate loyalty - in trusting that if I just worked hard enough for long enough for one company it would reward me. There was too much evidence to the contrary and it seemed to pile up every time I got a new job.

I resolved to be a faithful multi-jobber for my whole twenties - a career polygamist, if you will - on Boxing Day, 2004. I was building laptops on the line at a factory in my home town and at break time ended up sitting with two older women. One of them was definitely called Moira.

Over coffee in the concrete box that was the tea room, they told me they'd been working at this factory since they left school aged 16. They said their contracts were ended abruptly every few weeks and they were sent back to the social to apply for benefits until the factory had more computers to produce.

Why don't you just get a new job? I asked (I was 20 and truly unbearable), perplexed.

Can't, said Moira. Never done anything else.

They had served a company for decades that didn't value them and worst of all, their loyalty made them unsuitable for other work because they had no experience elsewhere.

And I still see it now - friends being made redundant from companies they were dedicated to since graduation, forced to reapply for their jobs, let go with no warning or explanation. And gaining employment with one job on your CV? Not easy.

This is why career polygamy makes sense, especially when you've just left school or university. As a trainee reporter, I worked days at a London local, nights sub-editing at The Sun and weekends in a bar.

As a teenager, I worked weekends at a greasy spoon, nights in a restaurant and every few months did an advert or a voiceover. All of the jobs paid, but while some were just for the money, others were for the potential career they could provide.

I started working when I was 13 and have always had several jobs at once until this year which is a good 16 years of career polygamy.

The pros are you're never broke, you can always get a job and you have lots of skills. Need someone who can touch type? No probs. Want a barmaid who can make a mean mojito? Sure thing. The ideal candidate will be able to wrap and ribbon a life-sized wooden horse? I'm your gal.

The cons are you spend a lot of time at work, you're always doing at least one menial job and you end up doing some stuff you sort of hate. As babysitter, I covered for a wife having an affair. As a 16-year-old glass-lifter, I was sent home by the bar manager and told to "sex" myself up. I only lasted eight hours in McDonald's because I simply could not construct a McChicken sandwich.

But I would always advocate this way of life because it gives you freedom, money, confidence and knowledge. No one owns you. No one can scare you. It's not about holding out for one dream job, it's about juggling money-making and career-building and personal satisfaction.

With today's job market, we're taught to have low expectations and to accept one role won't provide all that. And it won't - which is why you need to have several to get anywhere in Britain today.