The first job is like a first kiss. It is exciting. It is scary. And it is definitely not what you have been expecting. From feeding cows to making pizza toppings. These seven ladies share the real cases of their first jobs. Find out what they have learned and how did it help them to become successful!
1. “It shaped my work ethic.” Toni Martin-Clarke
My first job was working in a local pizza shop. I secured the role at the age of 13, though I had told the owner that I was 15 at the time. My responsibilities were prepping pizza toppings, pizza bases, making pizzas to order and then cleaning down at the end of the shift. It shaped my work ethic. When other kids my age were out playing or watching TV, I was focused on working and making money. I soon learned that if I show up early and get organized before the start of the shift things would flow more smoothly and so that’s what I did.
2. “It taught me that if you get comfortable you stop growing.” Sheedia Jansen
My first job was a Call Center Agent for a cell phone company. I had to answer all the calls in under two minutes and provide a good service without any training. I left it to continue pursuing my dreams.
It taught me that if you get comfortable you stop growing. Most of my coworkers worked in the same position for a while. Never continuing the fight for something better. Most of them were also a lot older than me. They just thought I had big dreams because I was so young. Funny how I still have big dreams ten years later.
3. “I also learned the value of making connections and being true to your word.” Emily Marie David
My first job was a volunteer camp counselor’s aide. I was charged with helping to take care of the kids, build the campfire and foster the camp spirit. I left that job because I grew into another position with the camp, where I stayed before moving away to college. I worked at that camp from eighth grade through high school. Not only did I learn the value of a team’s efforts and fostering a positive culture in the workplace, but I also learned the value of making connections and being true to your word. I did also learn that there is no task “below” me and that every task and every member of a team has a huge value.
4. “I learned that sometimes you need to do unsavory things in order to get the reward you want from life.” Christine Machiraju
My literal first job was cleaning the office where my father worked. I was twelve years old. My entire family – mom, dad and nine-year-old sister did this job together every weekend as a family. I then discovered my interest in plants and yoga and pursued training in horticulture and yoga. I went on to become a medical herbalist and opened my own yoga studio at 27!
I learned that families work well when they work together. I learned that sometimes you need to do unsavory things in order to get the reward you want from life. I learned that hard work always has a payoff. I learned how to work as a team and how to bring my insights to the team to make the job easier for all members. I learned that having pride in my work and doing my best even if nobody noticed made me feel good. I also learned not to be afraid to be innovative in seeking income opportunities.
5. “The most important lesson I learned … was the importance of hard work and responsibility.” Audrey Tipper
I grew up on a dairy farm and much of my family are part of the farming industry in some way. My first job title was as a teenager was “Farm Hand” and that pretty much means that I was responsible for doing anything that needed doing on the farm which varied depending on the season and from week to week. Now, almost 20 years after high school, I have started my own company called Three Happy Turtles where I empower women to trust and believe in themselves through travel and adventure.
The most important lesson I learned from growing up and working on a farm was the importance of hard work and responsibility. I learned quickly that when the weather was bad when I was not feeling great when I had had a bad day the day before, or when I just wanted to go do something else – the cows still needed to be fed. As an adult, when a boss would ask me to do something messy or something I didn’t feel like doing, I would just roll up my sleeves and accomplish the task.
6. “This job taught me to think through problems logically.” Perri Collins
My first full-time job was working in tech support for Toshiba. This was back in the 90’s during the first digital boom and people were buying PCs like crazy, but no one really knew how to use them. So, when there was a problem like a mouse stopped working or customers got a blue screen when they turned on their monitors, they’d freak out and call the tech support line. I’d walk them through troubleshooting steps and got their computers working again.
This job taught me to think through problems logically, and the importance of documenting a tedious situation, so you have a record of what works and what doesn’t.
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