first job

Ahh, your first job. Wasn’t it grand? Your little uniform, your nerves on the first day, the smell of fast food never quite leaving your clothes. There are a lot of things we might not remember fondly from our first job. But then again, there are plenty of lessons you would have learnt from your first job as teenagers still in school. Everything from our work ethic to showing up on time, we often learn from those first few shifts and our first real pay-check. Its a hard thing to get a hold of, and in hindsight it might seem a little like slave labour, but the few pennies we pocket as a young teenager give us the motivation we need to keep working. We work for the things we want, and we start young to earn it. Think back to your first job, and the tricks of the trade you would’ve picked up while working there. Chances are some lessons, you still use today…

First job lesson 1

You learn to manage money. Whether you realise it or not, before your actual first job, you don’t really have any concept of money and what you can actually spend. Once the bank balance starts building, money is an exciting thing to possess. When you watch it grow, you want to see it grow even more, and that’s how you first learn to save. Knowing what you have, and what you can afford to spend, are some of the most important money lessons you could possibly learn. And guess who teaches you this stuff? Your first job.

first job

First job lesson 2

Patience. When you’re looking for your first job, when you’re waiting to hear back from applications, and when you first start your first job, patience is a virtue. You’ll learn that not everything goes your way, and that sometimes you need to listen to what others have to say before you can offer your opinion. When you’re searching for your first job also, patience will be one of your best friends while you wait aimlessly for a response. It’s true a lot of places won’t hire someone without experience, but then a lot of places will, so learning the art of patience is a big first job lesson. Something you’ll definitely be using later in life, no doubt!

First job lesson 3

Treat everyone nicely. When you’re a 15 year old checkout chick or pizza delivery guy, not everyone will be as nice to you as you might like. People will use you to latch their complaints and problems onto, and won’t care that you’re only 15 and don’t have all the answers. You’ll be the scapegoat to a lot of rubbish in the workplace, from both customers and colleagues, and while you shouldn’t ever have to put up with this, it teaches you a great lesson. After your first job, it becomes even more important to be nice to everyone, because you don’t realise how much of a difference this can make until you’ve been in that position. A smile, a tip or some friendly conversation can make the night of a teenager in their first job, so don’t overlook the little things. Some lessons are best learnt the hard way.

first jobFirst job lesson 4

Learn from your mistakes. In your first job, no doubt there will be a few hiccups before you get the hang of it. You’ll need to ask for help, listen carefully, and try hard not to screw it up. But sometimes, mistakes just happen, and you’re going to have to learn from it. Mistakes happen all the way up the career ladder, so learning this lesson early is a godsend. Keeping positive, being honest and trying your best will help you avoid most mistakes, but the inevitable stuff-ups that can’t be avoided, well at least you learnt in your first job, right? Your first job will teach you a lot of things, and learning from mistakes is a big one. No one likes a 40 year old, office know-it-all, after all.

First jobs are hard. They can be scary, unchartered waters and you have to dive right in and give it your best shot. Without a first job, there won’t be a second, and a third, and you’d be unemployed forever. The lessons learnt in your first job are the hardest. The money saving, the mistake making, the unpleasant customers – you learn them all. But when you know these things, progressing up and up the job ladder, it makes all the difference in the world. Think back to your first job, and some of the simple lessons you picked up in that time. I guarantee you’ll still be needing them today…

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