I was fortunate enough that I never needed to work a part-time job as a teenager. My parents always felt that we are all going to work for the rest of our lives, so why not wait until we get to that time?
Now that I'm in college and my major requires 750 hours of work experience in my field of study, I felt that this was the perfect time to start.
From working at my first job, I've learned so much that I would like to share with all of you.
1. You are responsible for your actions.
When you do something wrong, it's your fault. Own up to your actions.
2. You absolutely cannot take everything personally.
This is something I really struggle with. When you're working in the customer service industry, you are going to encounter all walks of life. You will interact with the nice people but you will also interact with the people that need an attitude check. But you have to learn that they're not being rude to you because they have something against you, it's just their personality.
3. Kill everyone with kindness.
This is guaranteed to work 98% of the time (but don't quote me on it). There have been many instances when a customer was rude to me, but the second I answered nicely, they backed down. If you're nice to them, they have no reason to be rude to you.
4. You're going to make mistakes.
This was one of the hardest pills for me to swallow. I am what you would call a "perfectionist." I'm extremely hard on myself, especially when I make mistakes. Not only do I have a hatred towards making them, but I also hate owning up to them. Sometimes, I would get nervous before my shifts because of all the potential mistakes I could make. No matter how many times I got nervous before a shift, I still showed up and tried my hardest to do everything correctly.
5. Just do what you're told and you won't have an issue.
There's a reason why all the "cool kids" make fun of the rule followers. It's because we do as we're told, which makes our teachers and bosses happy. Now, they have one less person they have to worry about.
6. Control your fears.
Fear gets in the way of everything. I feel like I'm a pro when it comes to fears because I've been afraid of almost everything at one point in my life. Eventually, you're going to have to tell the boss that you're scared of that you made a mistake. All you have to do is rip the band-aid off and it will be over before you know it.
7. Being new is a totally valid excuse when making mistakes.
I know this sounds really dumb and obvious, but it's true. Being new at a job is the best time. You can make mistakes and not get in as much trouble because you're new. The only downside to this is that you can only use this excuse for so long.
8. If you go in thinking you'll have a bad shift, you'll have a bad shift.
Most of the time when I think negatively about something, I'm hoping that it will exceed my expectations. But when it comes to my job, every single time I've thought that the shift was going to be bad, it has been. Don't go in with a negative or positive mindset. Just go in with an open mind.
9. Try not to complain too much about being tired and wanting to go home.
It doesn't matter that you were scheduled for a double that day and have been working for 14 hours. No one cares. We're all tired and would probably rather be doing something else. Just suck it up. At least you're getting paid.
10. You should take your job seriously, but learn to have some fun.
Being serious all the time takes a lot of energy. It's totally normal to goof off with your coworkers because that's how you blow off steam. To be committed to any job, you need to at least enjoy what you're doing or who you're around. If you can't enjoy one of those things, then why are you working there?