Wednesday, July 6, 2011

lessons from my part time jobs

I have been fortunate enough to have three part time jobs through out my high school years.  The first was helping a woman named Cirese make soaps, the second was at an ice cream parlor, and the third (and current) is at Jamba Juice.  They each have taught me plenty of little lessons, the first being

keep your professional life exactly that.
As great as it is to be comfortable enough with your boss to joke with them and spend time together in  more friendly of a manner, it's almost never a good idea to let the employee/boss line blur. Don't speak to your employer about the same topics you would laugh about with your friends. Keep it professional, even in a part time setting.

be early.
Punctuality is so important to me, when I went for my interview at Jamba I was so nervous that I would get caught in traffic and be late that I left the house an hour early. I ended up with plenty of time to spare so I explored the surrounding stores and was able to relax a little bit before going in to meet the manager, I got to the store ten minutes early and the manager commented on it, saying he was impressed by my eagerness.

practise empathy.
If you were the boss, what kind of employee would you want to hire? Be that. Even when no one is looking, always do work that you are proud of. Also, never hand off a product that you would be unhappy buying. Put yourself into other people's shoes.

the importance of weather.
This one is pretty much only relevant to more summery-food type jobs, but at the ice cream parlor and Jamba juice, if it's raining, we're not getting customers. This is something I never thought about until I started working, and because I'd love to own my own business, it's stuck with me.

be genuinely kind.
Some people are just curmudgeons. That's not ever going to change. But they always have reasons for being so cranky, and a little bit of kindness goes a long way with them. Be nice to everyone, you have no idea how much it means to people.

Be happy to see your customers, they are the reason you are employed!

don't cry over spilt milk.
Don't be afraid to admit when you've made a mistake. Your manager will be much happier to know up front that you've slipped up than they will be to find out about it later. Not only will they be able to help you remedy it and prevent the mistake from happening again, they will respect your honesty and understand the courage it took for you to come to them and apologise.

ask questions.
It will make you a better employee by helping you understand exactly what you're supposed to be doing, and it shows an interest in the job, which is important.

appreciate your free time.
Before I was working if I had nothing to do I would desperately search for something to pass the time, but now I love those days when I have off, and I can wake up when ever I choose, knit a little, read a little,  maybe bake something, or watch a movie and just enjoy slowing down.

money isn't what's important.
No matter how much money you are making, if you're not proud of what you're doing, are stressed out beyond what you can handle, aren't getting a second to breath (in a bad way) or are generally unhappy because of your work, find what you love, and quit. Even if the job you love will be for a third of the pay, you will feel miles more fulfilled doing what you love than you do with wads of cash and a bad taste in your mouth.

I am lucky.
People are scrambeling for work all over the county, so to be fortunate enough to have a summer job makes me happy in and of its self.

What part time jobs have you had, and what have they taught you?
Love and Chamomile,

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