Did You Kill Vermin, Flip Burgers Or Supervise Children?

Linda LaitalaBusinessLeave a Comment

Linda here.
I am having a lot of fun with my intern.  This is Emma’s first job and her enthusiasm and energy – especially on payday remind me a lot of myself.  (Emma’s first paycheck picture on the right)As first jobs go, this is a pretty nice gig: office work, writing blogs for Rusty the dragon,entering data, and being an overall helper for whatever needs to be done.  Emma is honing her communication skills learning new programs and developing the “soft skills” that are necessary in every job.

Thinking back, my first job (besides babysitting) was entirely different.  I was a summer housekeeper for a retired minister and his invalid wife.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry, I did it all.  The job taught me some valuable skills.
No matter what job you have, the people are what matters .
This wasn’t my dream job, but I needed money to buy a class ring.  Reverend and Mrs. Allen endeared themselves to me through their patience and appreciation.  Mrs. Allen could not speak clearly because of a stroke, but she tried hard to tell me she liked my food or that I looked nice.
Workplace atmosphere and management make all the difference in the world.
Washing dirty underwear and cooking meals was not my idea of a good time, but Reverend and his wife were genuinely nice people and clearly delighted to have help.  They were patient with my cooking, enthused over my baking and appreciative of all I did.  Reverend Allen corrected and coached me when I needed it and praised me when I did well.
A first job can focus your career goals.
Before the summer was over I knew working in a nursing home was not my calling.  It takes someone with the ability to care for the elderly, to tend to their needs, to stay cheerful regardless of the physical needs of those in your care.  I cared personally for the Allen’s, but I was eager to see every week end and ecstatic when summer was over.
Other lessons learned:
Low pay is better than no pay. 
No job is too menial.
Work is what you make of it.
Whether your first job was working for a pest control company, flipping burgers or babysitting, what you learned lasts a lifetime.

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