Your first job

Linda LaitalaBusiness, Career, Career, Employees, Management, WorkLeave a Comment

Do you remember your first “real” job? The first job where you had to be at work for certain hours, performing certain duties AND you received a real paycheck!

Over the years, I’ve employed a number of interns, high school students who want to learn about some of the aspects of office/administrative work. Our latest intern, Emma, with her enthusiasm and energy – especially on payday, reminds me a lot of myself.

Emma writes blogs for Rusty the dragon, enters data, and helps with whatever needs to be done. She is honing her communication skills, learning new programs, and developing those “soft skills” that are necessary in every job.

Thinking back, my first job 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.

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 clothes 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 career goals.

I realized working in a nursing home was not my calling. I cared deeply for the Allen’s, but it takes a special 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 was eager to see every weekend arrive 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 it.

Whether your first job was working for a pest control company, flipping burgers, or digging ditches, what you learned lasts a lifetime. What lessons are you teaching the first timers who work for you?

The road is easier together,

Linda Laitala, President
Raven Performance Group

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