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The Biggest Lessons I learned From My First Job's

When I got my first job, I was super excited about the independence I would gain from making my own money. I learned a lot at my first couple of jobs, not all the lessons were fun to go through. In the long run, they made me a better person, and I’m happy I started working at a young age. A strong work ethic was taught to me at a very young age by my family so unlike most people my age I was reasonably ready for work, but you can never be too, and some people took advantage of me having little experience or took advantage of my age. Getting into the workforce has its ups and down, and there are a lot of things I’ve learned in the last 4 years because of it.

How to Budget

After getting my first job, all I wanted to do was spend all my money and after a few months of doing this and buying little immediate gratification items like coffees and treats I started feeling like I was working for nothing. I started picking small things to save up for like a nice pair of shoes or a car for when I turned 16. After I changed my way of spending I started to enjoy work a lot, If I went to work for 7 hours then was X dollar amount away from achieving my goal instead of just going to work to make some money. After I saved up and bought something nice for myself, I got almost addicted to the feeling of having nice things and work was really rewarding this way.

How to Negotiate Pay and Hours

I learned this lesson the shitty way, my employer took advantage of the fact I was uncomfortable with saying no and she knew that. So every time someone else didn’t show up for work guess you got called? Me. I worked 4 doubles a week plus any other shifts I covered in the week. Which isn’t okay and you should be able to tell your boss when you are over-scheduled, or it’s interfering with the rest of your life. I was scared that if I spoke up about what I needed, I wouldn’t get the shifts I wanted or would be put on shifts with fewer tips. When you walk into an interview be upfront with what you are and are not willing to do. If you are okay with being completely flexible, that’s awesome tell them that, but If you can not work certain days tell them that from the start so in a couple of months you don’t hate your boss. Pay is always a little uncomfortable to talk about for most people. Totally forget that the reason you need a job is for the money, ask them how much the position pays and if you aren’t comfortable working for the amount said to tell them that. Sorry, I actually can’t work for that much could we work something else out? Is a perfectly fine thing to say to someone don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and what you need.

How to stick to a Schedule

When you are in high school, there’s a schedule that rarely changes with work you now have a schedule you get to have some say in, but with that freedom, a lot more responsibility comes with it. If you don’t show up to work someone has to stay longer or come in for you and your ruin there day. If you have a hard time remembering things write it down everywhere in your room on your phone, set reminders even. Do what you need to do to stay on that schedule and get used to the new groove of going to work. Not only do you have to get there on time think of how long it takes to get there and how early you will have to wake up take everything into consideration when telling your boss what shifts you can work.

To Think Ahead

When I first started working a lot of my friends weren’t and so hanging out with them became a little bit harder. My friends would call me and ask if I wanted to hang out and I would sometimes forget that I needed to be at work at a particular time, so the window they wanted to hang out was really awkward for me. So, in turn, I had to start thinking ahead a lot more and thinking everything out way ahead of time to help me stay organized.

Customer Service & Work Place Dynamics

One of the biggest lessons I learned from working is how to talk to people professionally, it helps a lot when you start meeting the parents btw. When you first start working it’s usually one of the first times you start trying to figure out how to carry yourself in social situations. My general rules when I first start a job is to cut my personality by half, no swearing, and keep conversations light until I know what is and isn’t okay for your coworkers. After I started working social gatherings began getting more comfortable for me to navigate because I have had so much practice doing it at work and how to call upset people down. Watch how your superiors interact with the other people and customers and notice the things you would do differently and thinks you should put in your own social toolbox.