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The value of first job experiences

What was your first job?

Not the one on your LinkedIn profile. The one way before that.

How did it shape you? I find this question fascinating and one we rarely get to answer.

In high school I started out putting price tags on scrunchies at a high-end neighborhood pharmacy. I graduated to answering phones (beanie babies are out of stock) and being a cashier, closing the drawers and counting cash. One summer I was a bank teller. I also worked at a country club tending to my row of cabanas, getting ice, emptying trash, and shooing geese away with a broom.

I have all kinds of stories. I held everyone’s prescriptions and bank account balances in confidence. I saw how people acted when their insurance didn’t go through, or the line was too long. I was distraught having to hand a paycheck back to a customer, telling him his company didn’t have enough funds and I couldn’t cash it today.

This was my foundation.

Sure I learned the value of hard work. But more than anything I learned about people, and myself. I could morph into any peer group. And the interesting thing about being the help is that you see people for who they truly are. You learn to read people well. I’m confident developing this skill early on has played a factor in my recruiting career.

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