Lessons Learned From a First Job

lessons of first jobs

A first job can teach you a lot about yourself. It helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses. Your experiences, whether good or bad, can assist in shaping the rest of your career endeavors. Most people move on to new careers after their first job, but some advance within the company that they started in. These jobs teach responsibility and independence. They show you the true value of a dollar. They show you how hard you need to work to get the things you want in life. As a parent, even if you have a surplus of money to completely support your children and pay for their wants and needs, you should always encourage them to get a job. The lessons that they learn will stick with them for life. Earning your own money is a huge accomplishment, and you need to make it this clear.

First Jobs are Humbling

Many first jobs involve cleaning, customer service, and manual labor. When you are working in these types of roles, you quickly learn that no job is beneath you. It is work that needs to get done, and somebody has to do it. You were hired to assist in running the business that you work for, and sometimes you need to swallow your pride. These humbling experiences can go a long way later in your career. No matter how high-level a job may be, there are always unfavorable tasks that need to get done. If you are the type of worker that will take on any task, big or small, people will start to notice. You will make yourself a more value asset to your organization.

Handling Stress

First jobs can also to teach you to appreciate what you have later in life. For example, I was a waiter one summer in college. The work was hectic and stressful, the restaurant was always busy, and it seemed that there was always at least one dissatisfied customer no matter how much effort went in to pleasing everybody. Restaurant wait staff earn their tips the hard way. Nowadays when I go to a restaurant, I am more aware of how much work is going into making sure I enjoy my experience. It makes me appreciate what I have and how far I have come since then.

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

Even if your first job was low paying, at the end of the day it’s money in your pocket. Minimum wage careers might seem below your level of expertise, but if it’s the only way to pay the bills, it’s what you need to do. Maybe you’ve recently experienced a layoff, or lost a job due to circumstances out of your control. By using the lessons that you learned earlier in your career, you can simply swallow your pride and report to work.

Dealing With Rude Managers

First jobs also teach you how to deal with abrasive managers, or at least expose you to this behavior. Let’s face it, we’ve all had terrible managers at some point in our careers. If you haven’t, then consider yourself lucky. Having a bad manager in a low paying or entry-level position can be hard to overcome, because the more you are berated for your honest mistakes the more your urge will be to walk out the door. Now imagine having a bad or abrasive manager later in your career. If you’ve had the proper exposure to this type of behavior, you’ll be better equipped to deal with it.

Always use your first jobs as a learning experience. It will make you a better employee later in your career and assist in handling the natural stress / frustration that everybody experiences throughout the work day. You do not want to experience shell shock when something goes wrong. Using these lessons can really go a long way.

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Matthew Welch

Matthew Welch is an SEO strategist, content marketer, blog manager, and sports enthusiast from Boston, MA with a collegiate background in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Connecticut.

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