I’m graduating next Thursday and it feels surreal. Five years of post-secondary have gone by in a flash, and I’m starting to feel nostalgic. I’m heading out into the “real world” and while I may be feeling both excited and a bit anxious about what my future holds, I feel ready because of the lessons I’ve learned from my current and past part-time jobs.
I’ve worked as a child care assistant, a teacher assistant, and a cashier, just to name a few of the part-time jobs I’ve held. Although my jobs may have been in different industries and had required different skill sets from me, they’ve taught me the same five lessons every single time.
1. You’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay
No one is perfect at everything, even the people who seem to look like they are perfect have made mistakes in the past. It’s inevitable but the key is to not make the same mistake again and learn from it.
2. You’ll learn most things on the go
When I first started working as a cashier, I didn’t know how to properly bag groceries. Yes, I watched videos on how to bag groceries but it’s another story when you’re actually doing it. I learned to properly bag groceries after countless hours of working and figuring out what items go best with each other. I also asked my co-workers about their bagging techniques and tricks to help me get better.
3. Working with a team is important
All of my jobs have required me to work within a team, and I think this skill is essential to any job as it teaches you how to collaborate with others to get a task done, how to be patient, and how to actively listen to others.
4. You’ll work with people who are doing amazing things both at work and outside of work
When you start to get to know your co-workers, you’ll realize that they’re pretty interesting people. The last co-worker I got to know recently had a side hobby as a photographer on Instagram. I didn’t realize he was actually an Instagram Influencer because of it until we followed each other on Instagram. He’s been featured on numerous companies social media profiles.
5. You’re capable of more things than you realize
Maybe when you got your first job, you wondered if you were capable of it. When I landed the child care assistant job, I didn’t know if I could do it. Sure, I had worked at a summer school for two years but that was with high school students. At the daycare I was in charge of children aged 5-12 years old for five days a week. I also had to get CPR certified. After a rough first week of getting used to the daycare routine and my new responsibilities, I realized I was capable of doing the job.
Although my past and current part-time jobs aren’t entirely in the industry I want to work in right now, they’ve taught me these lessons that I’ll happily apply to the industry I do want to work in.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from your past jobs that still apply to your current job?