My first job was working in a summer camp schlepping 50-pound bags of flour for the camp kitchen at 6 am.
You take your first job not just to get a paycheck but also to learn more about the work world in general. First jobs can be low-paying jobs, but they teach you things that can be important later in life. To be sure, first jobs teach you many essential things about life, and below are nine of them.
1. How to Stick to Deadlines
Deadlines are important in life and will matter quite a bit when you start college and get a job. A first job will teach you how important deadlines are and how to handle them when they come along. Deadlines will always be a part of your life, especially in the business world, and your first job will teach you all about them, so they aren’t a surprise later on.
2. How to Communicate with Others
Effective communication is crucial regardless of your job. Your first job will teach you how to communicate with people so that your message gets across clearly. Whether you’re working in retail or the corporate world, you have to know how to communicate with people so that they understand you and you understand them.
3. How to Appreciate Hard Work
Most first jobs are hard work, but they teach you how to appreciate that type of work to know how a good day’s worth of work feels. If nothing else, hard physical labor can help you realize that you should stay in school to have a less-physical job in the future. Regardless of what you end up doing, later on, learning to appreciate hard work is always good.
4. How Not to Burn Bridges
People learn skills in their first job, such as giving a two-week notice when you leave and putting up with the boss’s demands even when you don’t feel like it. If you don’t follow protocol, it can affect the chance of getting a job in the future because your current boss may give you a less-than-perfect reference when you try to get another job. This is why the following protocol is so important.
5. How to Balance Work and Home
The work/home balance can be challenging to achieve, but it becomes easier for you when you get used to having a job. You’ll learn how to manage your time better, so you don’t feel you’re always working and nothing else. You’ll learn how to make better use of your time when you’re not at work so that things balance out a little better.
6. How to Appreciate Money
Unless you have a job, it’s challenging to learn the actual value. A job changes that. When you work, you truly appreciate everything costs. This makes it easier to plan your budget and stick to it, rather than spending money on a whim and not being able to save up for the things you want.
7. How to Use Social Media
Most businesses have a social media presence. You can learn to use Facebook, Twitter, and other pages whenever you have a job. Businesspeople also browse through prospective employees’ social media pages to get to know them better before hiring them, so improving your knowledge of social media is a big perk of having a job.
8. How to Pay Attention to Details
Details are essential to every job, and you’ll learn to recognize them to do a much better job. Paying attention to the details of a job helps you learn more about why the job is so important, which allows you to complete all of the tasks associated with that job in a perfect manner.
9. How to Go Above and Beyond
If you want to succeed in life, you have to be willing to do more than what is required of you, and your first job will teach you how to do just that. Going above and beyond is what results in promotions and overall better pay because, above everything else, supervisors always notice your great attitude.
First jobs are important not just because of the paycheck but also because they offer an introduction to a particular field and can help teach essential life skills. If you’re looking for your first job or are considering switching careers, think about what you want to learn and how you can gain those skills. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but talking with people who work in the industry you’re interested in could be a great place to start.