Before I started college I had never had a job. It's no secret to anyone that college is a tad bit expensive, and when I showed up on campus my pockets immediately felt more empty than I'd ever know they could. My first week I attended a campus job fair without any idea of what kind of job I was searching for. On the suggestion of a friend, I visited a booth for the college IT department where (spoiler alert), my future bosses were sitting. IT is not my major, and I had absolutely no experience with computers. I was a referenceless, immature eighteen-year-old and to this day I'm not completely sure why they hired me. But somehow in my interview, I managed to convince them I wouldn't be a total screw up, and they took a chance on me. I am forever grateful they did.
When I started the job, I expected it to be something I clocked in and out of, showing up only for the paycheck. I didn't expect to gain anything more than the ability to continue funding my college experience. When my training started I was immediately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information being thrown at me and began wondering if all the effort for just a part-time job could be worth it. I thought about quitting, or more aptly thought I would get fired, every single day my first month. Looking back, I know if I had quit then I would have missed out on three years of being shaped into the person I am today.
Working in that IT department taught me so many lessons that I could never hope to list them all. This job got me over my extreme discomfort with talking on the phone. It showed me how to find worth and value in something I may not be passionate in. This job gave me a skill set and confidence in those skills I never imagined I could have. It proved to me that amazing managers really do exist, and because of the bosses, I had there I am determined never to settle for supervisors who don't care about me as an individual.
But most of all what this job gave me were some of the most amazing friends I could have asked for. My greatest worry coming into college was that I would be unable to create sincere, meaningful friendships. For my first two years, I struggled with the kind of loneliness I had expected to. Then the summer after my sophomore year, I got scheduled to work with three people who I can no longer imagine my life without. We worked the closing shift together every night of the four-month-long summer, and by the time August came around, I was no longer worried about the upcoming semester being as lonely as those in the past. The friends I met through that IT job are adventurous, hilarious, intelligent, and as genuine as they come. While I no longer work in the job, our friendship has become even stronger. Those relationships I formed were worth more than any paycheck I could have received.
So as you're looking at taking a new job, or facing another long shift at the job you're currently in, remember that just because it isn't in the field you're pursuing or it isn't the job you hoped for, it is still important. You can learn something or get something positive out of every single opportunity you have. Every job you have can help make you into a better person if you let it. It can bring you so many friends you never expected to have.
And to the girl considering taking the IT job I say: go for it, and remember that even though not every job will change your life, any job can.