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: Direct Support Professional at my parents’ company when I was in high school providing direct care for children with disabilities in a residential community setting.
Current Job: Owner of Square One Rental Kitchen & Events
10 Lessons I Learned:
1. Securing and holding a job as a teenager is a truly valuable experience. I learned what it was like to have my own money, save some and choose what I wanted to spend the rest on.
2. Creative problem solving is the key to success in so many situations. This job was challenging (especially for a teenager) but it taught me how to navigate difficult situations to find solutions time and time again.
3. Patience. I know I can be rather impatient when it comes to some aspects of life but I know this job, way back in the day, helped me develop more patience, especially with myself.
4. This is where I got my first taste of independence. I didn’t have to ask my parents for money to go to the movies and that was awesome. Though I wasn’t making the big bucks, it was mine.
5. Through this
6. Co-Workers are everything. You need to enjoy the team you work with. Being a teen at the time everyone was older than me by quite a bit but man, they were a fun crew and provided great care for the residents.
7. It’s good to think one step ahead. Working with behaviorally challenging children taught me to keep ahead of the game and do everything I could to provide them with a safe and pleasant experience. This meant knowing any triggers and working hard to prevent them from entering our daily activities. I think this same lesson can be applied in various ways to most any job. Do what you can to keep things moving smoothly.
8. I developed work ethic by working more in the summers while I wasn’t in school and longer shifts to make sure I had gas in my car and extra money for popcorn at the movies (I’m starting to remember I went to the movies a lot…so much popcorn and Junior Mints).
9. Creativity is a part of every job and comes in so many different forms. For this job, it was coming up with fun things to do and ways to keep busy on a daily basis to keep things fresh and interesting.
10. . Lessons are always up for grabs. Being a kid at the time, I’m sure I didn’t dig too deeply into the lessons being learned at my job, but now I can go back and see how this experience shaped me into the adult I am today.