Over the course of a person's life one may find that they have worked in many different capacities. They may be the CEO of a large corporation now, but maybe they started their working lives as a paperboy or a babysitter when they were much younger. Both high-power and low-power positions offer value.
Each job we hold offers us the chance to learn and grow. There is value in experience and knowledge that can be applied from employment in different arenas that may be readily useful and practical, or may come into play at some time in the future.
Below are 3 jobs I believe every person should have in their lifetime and why I think they are helpful.
- Restaurant Server (Waiter or Waitress) - There is one aspect of this job that is valuable to every person. That aspect is service. A server has to learn many skills in order to be effective in their position. They have to be kind and courteous, communicative, quick in delivery, thoughtful in actions, humble in taking requests, clean and presentable, and they have to be able to repeat this many times over the course of a day. From the moment a customer sits at one of their tables, the performance has started. The customary tip given to a server actually adds even more pressure for performance. It is, in a sense, a commission. The harder the server works and the better the service, the better the tip. It is servant hood to the general public, it is efficiency training, it is multi-tasking, it is communication sharpening, it teaches customer service skills and it has immediate and measurable results. At the end of every shift a server is offered a measure of their performance in the amount of tips they have earned. Overall, it can teach an individual patience and the value of hard work. The cash on hand everyday is nice too.
- Retail Customer Service - The defining feature of this job in my opinion is patience. It takes a great deal of patience to not only wait for customers to come to the establishment, but also to serve them and be ready to help them when they do come in. Presentation of goods is a paramount in retail and a worker often finds they are spending their time, the time they are not dealing with customers, cleaning and straightening the store. This is all done at, typically, low wages. A lot is expected, but little is compensated. It takes a great deal of patience to work in retail.
- Commissioned Sales - What stands out for this position is personal responsibility. You are the key factor in success or failure here. This teaches the value of time in conjunction with your performance, it helps you overcome fears of rejection, it adds a new sense of responsibility, and it offers unlimited reward. One of the major aspects of this job is the lack of salary or hourly wages. That means no resting! If you want to get paid you have to sell. When selling, often a person will realize fears that they were not aware existed. Salespeople hear the word, "no" more often than they hear the word, "yes". This can be very emotionally taxing. However, there is an opportunity in this. This is the opportunity to grow emotionally and relationally. It helps develop the ability to handle disappointment and the fear of rejection. A good salesman is rejected all the time. This can lead to a "thicker skin" so to speak. This is something helpful in both work and everyday life in general.
One thing to note is that all the above positions deal with people. Learning to handle the public in numbers and people individually is an invaluable skill that all people should adopt. Some are naturals in this area and others need some growth.
The jobs we choose over the course of our lives can help shape who we are as individuals. I recommend trying these jobs early in your working life to help establish a firm foundation in work ethic and a greater appreciation for work in general. They may be tough or even miserable, for the time you are employed, but there is great worth if a person is open to learning and paying attention.
The ability to grow personally is one that we as people share. Step out and try some new things! That is a great way to expand yourself.