Most people are focused on finding the ideal job, whether you are graduating college or in your 40s. Nothing wrong this, I hope that I find my ideal job. However, there is a strong possibility that you will never find the perfect job. It is rare for that to happen. Not to mention that there will never be a perfect job with no stress involved or no people that will annoy you.

I believe we are too often focused on the negative aspects of jobs and overlook the good. This is not ignoring truly bad work situations, such as being stuck with a low paying job that has nothing to do with your major. What I am saying is that out of every job experience, including ones with bad bosses or dysfunctional workplaces, you gain something. It certainly is not something financial, but you build up important job skills that may help you get a better job down the road. A woman named Denise Elliot, who is now the chief executive officer of Kiplinger, once told me that for every job, you have to suck it up and endure the bad until a better opportunity comes along. This advice has stuck with me because I realize it is the most realistic, as compared to speakers who tell you how to find that perfect job.

I would like to share the job experiences that have helped me advance to the current job situation I am in currently. My very first job was at Pizza Hut as a team member. I washed dishes, cooked chicken wings, prepared pizza dough for the next day, and cleaned the general area. This job exposed me to retail and dealing with customers, many of whom were rude and unappreciative. However, I learned the importance of being dependable for my manager (who was a great first boss) and coworkers. Believe it or not, Pizza Hut was probably where I had the best camaraderie with coworkers. Sometimes it felt like family. It especially did when I saw a coworker die in a truck accident after finishing my shift. It is still the most horrible thing I witnessed in my life. My manager invited us over to his house where he grilled hotdogs and helped us to take our minds off of it. Being kind to your coworkers and having humor in the workplace makes things better. It should not be a workplace where people never talk to each other.

The next job I did was Party City. I worked as a cashier, but I did other jobs too like blowing up balloons or stocking the aisles. This job was different from Pizza Hut because I got to deal with customers face to face. The job was also less hectic as compared to a restaurant (except for Halloween). I dealt with a diversity of customers since my store is one of the few in central Pennsylvania. This is not meant to sound sexist, but what made this job unique for me was that many of the employees were female. It made the work environment different, but it was a good experience for me. I got to understand women better. I also built camaraderie and friendships with my coworkers and supervisors there. In addition, my job there gave me more responsibility in helping customers with their questions and problems.

Then in 2018, I did two jobs. One was tutoring accounting at my university in the spring and fall semesters. My major is accounting, so this helped reinforce what I learned before. The job was not as formal, but what made it different is that I dealt with students one on one to help them understand the subject. This taught me to listen better to students and to experiment with different ways of helping people. What was great about this job is that I could pass on whatever techniques worked for me to other students. The other job I did was a temporary floater bank teller for Fulton Bank during the summer. A floater is someone who is sent to different banks based on staffing needs. In my case, I ended up staying at the same location for most of the summer, which was nice since it was the closest to where I lived. This was my first professional job where I had to wear business clothing and a tie. I also learned to observe all of the banking regulations required for the industry. In addition, the job required me to analyze my work more and be efficient. This was very difficult sometimes, but I got better at it.

Finally, this year I did an accounting internship for taxes. This was my first experience related to my major. This job taught me to be more process-driven in my work rather than results-driven. When you prepare a tax return and enter it into tax software, you must be systematic and detailed. There is always a chance you spelled something wrong or forgot one digit in a number. Like my Fulton Bank job, you have to analyze your work. You can't just be focused on "I will complete five tax returns today."

Every job in my life, ignoring any dysfunction or frustrations, has helped me become a better worker and advance to better jobs. Don't get me wrong, there were moments I absolutely despised work gossip or rude people who seem just focused on themselves. There will always be something unlikable in a job. But there is something that feels fulfilling when you know you got through that job and are beginning a new and better one. For myself, I have a job offer with the Navy Supply Depot in my hometown as a staff accountant. I look forward to seeing what lessons I will learn from it.