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: Food & Beverage Stand, FM Redhawks
Current Job: Public Relations Specialist, RDO Equipment Co.
10 Lessons I Learned…
1. Focus on the job at hand. My job was to get customers their food and beverage quickly so they didn’t miss much of the game. Focusing on that led to a happy customer, as well as better rapport with my coworkers.
2. People are important to a business – so make them feel important.By acknowledging every customer and getting their orders to them quickly, they walked away happy – and I believe they were more likely to come back and spend their money with us.
3. Positivity is contagious. Especially when the Redhawks were in the field, we’d get a long line of customers. It’s easy to get stressed when it’s busy, but all of us working stayed upbeat. Our positivity rubbed off on each other. I think it did on customers, too, as most didn’t seem to mind waiting.
4. A smile goes a long way. I greeted every customer with a smile and almost always received one in return. A simple gesture created a positive experience for both of us.
5. Be proactive. During times when we were slow, I’d organize hotdog sleeves and napkins and tidy up spills so that when we did start to get busy, I was ready and raring to go.
6. Different strokes for different folks. I’ll never forget, there was always a giant jar of pickled eggs on the counter. To me, it looked unappetizing, but some people loved them. By the end of the night, that jar was always empty, so it was clearly a good product that I never would have thought to offer.
7. Have something to offer that no one else has. Speaking of those pickled eggs, our stand was the only one at the field that offered them. People had to come to us to buy them and often that would lead to a beverage or another food purchase.
8. Diversify to appear to more needs. While the pickled eggs were the unique selling point of the stand, general crowd-pleasers like good old hot dogs and pretzels with ranch were also offered to appeal to more potential customers.
9. Hard work pays off. I worked hard to get people their food and beverages quickly and was rewarded with a lot of sincere thank you’s and a full tip jar at the end of the night.
10. Extra hard work pays off. My extra efforts also were noticed by the boss, who would often tip me extra at the end of the night for doing a great job.