Lessons From My First Job

cropped shot of female hands in green rubber gloves hold detergent spray with rag and wipe wooden table from dust in living room , housework conceptOne of the best things about aging is the opportunity to keep moving forward. I remember getting my first job. I worked at the Holiday Inn, busing tables. It was my first official job, the summer before my senior year in high school. I met so many exciting people that summer, and it was the first of many experiences with people, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Looking back on that job, I have a healthy respect for how much those experiences influenced me. It was a summer of testing the waters of right versus wrong. My eyes were wide open, and I was intrigued by everything I saw. It was also a time when, at such a young age, I started to assert myself. I wanted to learn all I could about the different kitchen jobs. Most of all, I loved being part of the team. I was trained to operate the huge dishwasher, cook by looking at the menu pictures, be a hostess, organize the linens, serve on the buffet line, and be a waitress and bus tables.

And, most of all, I learned self-respect. I was exposed to a slice of life that would make or break me for the rest of my life. At that young age, I experienced the difference between treating people with kindness, compassion, and a helping hand versus verbally abusing, berating, and toxicity. My first summer job ended with my first “you’re fired” for talking back to my supervisor.

My first work experience taught me these lessons:

  • Work will always be work; you have a choice to love it or leave it.
  • Aging is underrated; learn from your mistakes and fail again.
  • All people are leaders; you get to choose what kind you are – choose wisely.
  • Find your gift and live it. Help others do the same.
  • Forgiveness strengthens self-belief; you will be challenged in life – expect it.
  • Embrace positivity; it has an energy of its own.
  • Live by your North Star.
  • People are people, just like you, only with different experiences that make them unique.
  • Growth comes from curiosity, and commitment sustains change.
  • Have a plan for your life.

I am grateful for my life experiences and those who helped me become who I am today. I look forward to what comes next too. Be inspired by your life!