Photo by Hillary Ehlen
Your first job. For some, it may have been fun and carefree. For others, it may simply have been a way to get some cash in your pocket. Whether you enjoyed your first job or not, it was likely the cornerstone of your career. This is where we got our first glimpse of the real world, learned how to manage money and maybe even decided what we wanted to do when we grew up and got “real jobs.”
In the following sections, join us and we hear from local business owners and leaders who share the lessons they learned at their first jobs. These fun and insightful reflections inspired us to delve deeper into the recruitment process.
First Job: Sandwich Artist at Subway, Granite Falls, Minn.
Current Job: Industrial Staffing Consultant, Preference Employment Solutions
10 Lessons I Learned…
1. If you get there at the time your shift starts, you are late. There is so much to do prior to your official start time. Get there early; you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much you can accomplish before your customers arrive and the phone starts ringing.
2. Just because you are in a position that is not a career you plan on pursing the rest of your life, always remember that you are building your resume. You will learn important details in that job that you will not learn in other positions or companies.
3. References. The way you behave in your first position can set you up for failure or success in obtaining your future roles. Treat your bosses and coworkers with respect; you never know who they might know.
4. Your customer might not always be right, but always, always, always treat them with respect. So what, you added olives (yes, they did say olives, but they really meant to say pickles). Set that sandwich aside and make them a new one. No use in arguing.
5. That front desk person, he or she is probably one of the biggest influences in helping you get a job. Be nice to them. Treat him or her with more respect than anyone else in that building. “Why,” you ask? You never know who may be covering that front desk—it could be your future boss! (Front desk people take lunch breaks and vacation time, too).
6. Give a two-week notice. Who knows, you may need to go back to that job someday—you want them to welcome you back with open arms.
7. Laugh. Not every day is going to be great; find humor in uneasy situations.
8. Don’t complain about your previous supervisor or boss. You did learn something from them, and you don’t want your new boss thinking you’ll do the same thing to him/her if you leave their company.
9. Raises come with more responsibility.
10. Last but not least: Don’t burn the cookies. The customers won’t eat them, and you won’t either. There is nothing more delicious than a slightly undercooked Subway cookie.