What My First Job Taught Me
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Student Life

What My First Job Taught Me

And how it shaped me.

What My First Job Taught Me
Lauren Reynolds

I had just turned 15 when I started my first job in food. I worked at a small custard shop in my town called Whits Frozen Custard. When I first started working there, I was a shy clumsy teenage girl. Four year later, I still work that job, it shaped me to who I am today and has taught me so many life lessons. There is such a great value in your first job and how it can shape you as a person. Whits has given me a lot these past few years, and it wasn't until recently I realized that a lot of who I am today goes to my job and my boss.

1. Confidence

When I was 15, I was the definition of awkward. I hated talking to people and I was scared of everyone and everything. Now, four years later, I love talking to anyone and everyone. Customer service is one of my greatest strengths, I enjoy carrying conversations with customers and I enjoy seeing them come back again. There are even some customers where I know their entire order. I have gained so much confidence since I was 14. And I thank my boss every day for pushing me to step out of that comfort zone and actually talk to people.

2. Even when dealing with the bad, smile through it.

There have been so many times when I would be on register and a customer treated me poorly, and there have been so many times when I wanted to just snap and defend myself. But good customer service requires a smile and great treatment. I'll admit, it took a little while to understand that even when you have to deal with the bad you still have to smile through it. I even put this into my my everyday situations. No matter what I'm dealing with that makes me angry or sad - I just have to smile through it.

3. Hard work pays off.

This is a given. My first job wasn't easy. I didn't just scoop vanilla into a cup and put rainbow sprinkles on it. I had a lot of responsibilities as an employee, especially the pressure you face when you face a line out the door and around the corner for hours at a time. Truthfully, some workers just don't get enough credit. There is so much hard work and dedication that goes into perfecting your job. Then in the end, after all the hard work you put in you're rewarded. Not because of the paycheck that comes every other week but because you are growing as a person and an employee. After four years of giving a lot of my time to this store and putting in countless hours of hard work, I have grown and stepped out of my little box to experience the world.

4. Some of your best friends come from the memories made within those walls of where you work.

If we're being honest, I wasn't friends with anyone already working at the shop. They were all older than me and at first I thought everyone saw me as some annoying 15 year old. It took me awhile to actually make good friends and even have decent conversation with my coworkers. And as time went on, I started to be one of the oldest ones working and I have made some amazing friends. Every one of my coworkers means a lot to me, including my boss. They all have given me some great life advice, been there for me, and watched me as I grew up.

So here's to my first job. A small store that transformed my life. Thank you for some of the best and complicated years of my life. Even when I move on to other jobs, just know that you were the one that started it all, taught me everything I know. The value of a first job is underrated, it doesn't get enough credit. That being said, watch how you transform of the period of your first job. You'll owe everything of who you are to that place as you look forward to other jobs to come.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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