I Sold Cutco Knives For My First Real Job, And I Learned So Much More Than You Would Expect

I Sold Cutco Knives For My First Real Job, And I Learned So Much More Than You Would Expect

Who knew kitchen cutlery could be a key to self-realization?

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I can honestly say that when I walked into my first day of training for my first job this summer, I did not expect it to really amount to much more for me. I was going to be selling knives, cool. But I was a psychology major, so a sales and marketing position wouldn't really benefit me in the long run, right? I could not have been more wrong. During my summer at this position, I learned more than I could ever imagine, both about life and personal skills.

I did not have a smooth start to this job. In fact, I literally cried on the second day of training because I panicked about having to make phone calls. Honestly, I was ready to quit right then because I could not even imagine being able to pick up the phone without freaking out again. But I came back, somewhat willingly. I forced myself to go because I really didn't think I had the choice to quit. I hate being a quitter, even though it's so much easier sometimes. But because I didn't want to feel like a quitter so soon, I went back the next day and powered through. And I survived.

Even in the first two to three days working there, I had learned a bit about myself. I was actually a lot braver than I thought. I mean, how many other people would walk right back to something that scared them half to death before? I didn't realize it at the time, but simply walking in the door on the third day of training showed immense courage.

Over time, I got better and handling phone calls. I was also doing a pretty good job with sales and scheduling some more appointments. Honestly, I was pretty much on a roll. For the first time in my life really, I was accomplishing something for myself. I was doing things with a minimal push from others, and I was taking initiative for my success. However, throughout the summer, some weeks were better than others in terms of sales and motivation to go to appointments. I'd be lying if I said I didn't ever feel like quitting. But I didn't let myself quit, and I kept moving forward.

This was an environment that really prioritized personal development and constantly encouraged us to reach higher and think bigger than we thought possible. I noticed that throughout the summer, my personal goals skyrocketed. I was no longer looking to sell a couple hundred dollars worth of kitchen cutlery a week; I was shooting for thousands. Through this, I was able to actually envision myself taking on bigger roles than I had ever seen myself in. This mindset carried on to college, where I realized that I wanted bigger things than just watching things happen around me. I was taught to work for my own success, instead of waiting for it to come along. This especially was a weird lesson to grasp because personally, I've always had it very easy. Overall, I had never had to work extremely hard to achieve something I wanted, until working at this job.

If I had to sum up all of the life lessons I learned when selling knives into 3 things, I would say this: (1) Never underestimate the small achievements you make to keep moving forward, (2) If you want to be successful, you have to want to put the hard work in too, and (3) You can learn something new from every experience you have, even it doesn't relate to your end goal. Despite the challenges, both external and internal, that I faced and overcame when working as a sales representative, I didn't quit and I held myself accountable for my own success. Even though sometimes it may not have seemed worth it at the time, the sum of my experiences at my "summer job" left me with several extremely important life lessons.

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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If You Don't Have To Work Your Way Through College, You're One Of The Lucky Ones

There are many students have to work during school to support themselves while many do not. Those who don't have to don't understand the many stresses that others have all of the time.

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If you're anything like me, your parents don't pay for many of your expenses while in college. This sometimes puts a strain on relationships as well as happiness (only sometimes). Since I attended an out of state school, like many students, school is very VERY expensive. In addition, private student loans are actually a rip off because interest rates suck. I have always had to work, even in high school if I wanted to do anything fun or buy something not on sale.

But in college, my expenses became way more expensive — rent, food, electricity, tuition, sorority, all of it.

Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on activities because I have to work and on top of that, many of my friends do not have to worry about their expenses. This is worse in Arizona I have noticed as many of friends back home pay their own expenses. However, my friends in Arizona ask me to go out to eat or do anything that costs more money than I have ALL OF THE TIME. I then end up extra stressed because I feel like I have to go or else I get FOMO which results in me in having actually more spending money for anything else.

I'm sure that many can relate to this dilemma that I run into almost every single day of my life!

This is a vicious cycle that those who don't have to work to pay their own way don't understand do not understand. I can't even imagine how nice it would be not having to work during school and focus on my grades and social life. These people can be more involved on campus because they have more free time which boosts their resumes while I have a minimum wage job that has nothing to do with my major or career goals. I do think that working a part-time job is a great way to build character and not having a job at all before graduating college could potentially be a problem.

If you don't have to work during college, don't take it for granted and try to understand those who do! If you do, there are many people that understand your struggles and stresses!

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