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.