Lauren Marinigh

What My Part-Time Jobs Taught Me

By Lauren | March 28, 2016 | 0 Comment

You may hate them while you’re in them, or they may be the best jobs of your life, but we’ve all done our time in different part-time jobs growing up. At the time, I probably didn’t realize how valuable the experience that I was gaining was, but now I thank all my part-time jobs for all my success and opportunities I have today. Here are what my part-time jobs taught me, tell me in the comments—what were yours and what did they teach you?

The Ice Cream Shack

My first job, and one that I stayed at for three summers in a row. When I say ice cream “shack”, I mean a literal shack, by the beach, in a small town. This was my first job, and at the time, I thought it sucked, but I think I would’ve thought any job sucked when you were on summer vacation. In reality, my manager left us unattended in the shack, so I was given the responsibility to make sure things ran smoothly on my own—something that most teenagers don’t do in their first job. On top of that, I was relocated to our event venue shack which meant I worked long hours, non-stop, at some of the busiest events of the summer. I had to make sure that everything ran smoothly, and quickly so we could keep on top of the rush—this taught me how to work well under pressure and how to problem solve when something arises (like when the shack doesn’t have air conditioning and all the ice cream starts to melt).

The Customer Service/Copy Centre Gal

When I think about the worst job I had, it was probably this one, and no it wasn’t because I was a customer service representative. After working at the frontline of our customers complaints, and problem solving to answer questions that I didn’t necessarily know the answer too, I was transferred to work in their photocopying/print centre. This would be a move that most people would enjoy, but the business I worked for lacked money to properly train staff to work in this department, and the managers weren’t even trained either. This meant that every time I had a shift there, I had no idea what I was doing, which made me feel unprepared and for lack of a better word, stupid when customers would have requests I didn’t know how to fulfill. This job taught me how important it is for your business to make sure your staff feel confident and prepared, and it also taught me how to fake it until you make it.

The One Day As a Waitress

You read that one right. I literally worked a total of one shift as a waitress at a small restaurant in my hometown. Despite my nice co-workers, I hated it, the whole waitress thing wasn’t for me. Even though it’s natural to feel uncomfortable on your first day, I felt extremely out of my element. I never returned after my first shift, and my Mom for the longest time thought they were just not giving me shifts. It was short lived, and I probably didn’t give it a fair chance, but this taught me that if you’re not happy or don’t feel like yourself in a situation, find a way to get yourself out of it and find something better. Don’t settle!

The Dance Teacher

My favourite job of all, which is a no brainer as I grew up competitively dancing my whole life. In my last year before heading off to college I became a dance teacher after years of volunteering as an assistant teacher in classes. I loved every minute of it, I loved seeing the kids grow and learn, and I loved sharing my passion for dance with others. This job taught me a lot. It taught me how to work with children, how to teach and be a leader, and taught me how great it can be when you’re passionate about your job.

The Overseas Camp Counsellor/English Teacher

This was my job each summer while in college and definitely is up at the top of my list with being a dance teacher. I was paid to work overseas in Spain as an English teacher and camp counsellor in different areas in the country. My flights were paid for, room and board was paid for, plus I made money while I was there and had the chance to travel. Dream job, right? This job taught me a lot as well, it taught me how to travel overseas independently, it taught me how to work with children, and teach them a second language, and taught me a lot about myself while living abroad.

The Dance Store Key Holder

My one and only job I had while in college (outside of the summer job). I worked in a dance store as a sales associate and then key holder. This job was one I loved because I had the chance to work within an industry I loved. I got to talk to dancers every day and play with pretty dance clothes. On top of being a sales associate, I also was given the chance to work on the businesses email and social media marketing, which was the first time I ever did this for a business outside of school, and my first taste of the real world. Four years later, I’d never expect to still be working in the social media world.

What was your best and worst part-time jobs growing up? Share them below in the comments!


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