Getting a job is inevitable for college kids. Whether people end up applying for part-time jobs as teenagers or they go into the workforce right out of college, earning money is something that is essential in order to make a living. Some kids work as soon as they can legally acquire a work permit; whether the reason being was that their parents instructed them to work or out of pure financial gain, working as soon as you can is important. It is not only important to save money, but it is important to learn how to deal with others in the workplace.
I started hostessing part-time at age 16. I was hired at a restaurant through my older sister who had been working there for a year or two already. All it took was a few days of training to gain confidence in my workplace in order to take shifts by myself. After working there for a few years, I felt that I was no longer learning anything new anymore. I knew that I deserved to earn more money and to challenge myself in a different aspect. As soon as I got home from my first year of college I applied to as many serving positions as I could.
I was eager to try something new and learn more about the value of money. In the midst of attending job interviews and driving around scoping out places that could potentially hire me, I came across a local, family-owned Italian restaurant. From what appeared to be a small almost hidden cafe from the outside, turned out to be the first job offer I received this summer. I walked in and was offered a serving position on the spot. After a few days of training, serving appeared to be a challenge. The menu offered a wide selection of items that I could not even pronounce and it was intimidating going up to tables of strangers trying to form a sentence. My first few days of serving by myself were the challenge that I told myself I was up for.
After my first day, I drove home and counted the money that I had so tirelessly worked for. Not only did a sense of pride for myself and all that I had and could accomplish wash over me, but a new found ambition to try new things and an appreciation for working hard to achieve a certain outcome came about in my mind as well.
I began working at 16 years old to make extra cash and to show my parents I was working hard. Three years later I found that working at a young age was not just about making and saving your own money, but about fueling the fire inside of you that can create a different sort of ambition. Working hard is about more than money. It is about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and learning new things. Now, whenever I go to clear a table after customers have left, I reach for the dirty dishes before I reach for the check.