First jobs teach us valuable work ethics and skills, how to work well with others, and give us that first satisfactory taste of earning a paycheck. Often times those first jobs are not ones that we would want to do long-term. That is fine too, as it can serve as motivation to prepare ourselves for better and more satisfying employment. We all start out somewhere, even today’s successful business executives. An article I was reading this morning on Silicon Alley Insider chronicles how a few CEO’s earned their first paycheck. (Including Wal-Mart CEO, Deloitte CEO, and Goldman Sachs CEO)
Despite the simple and sometimes downright banal nature of the first job (or early in your working career), they usually teach us something valuable that we take with us to future jobs. Career counselors often talk about transferable skills: work skills that are portable from one job to another.
First jobs can often motivate us. The manager at my first job was so oppressive, that I vowed never to manage or treat coworkers like he did. I look back and wonder if some of the work I did was legal for a 13-year-old to do. But boy, did it give me motivation to go out and find another better summer job. And it also taught me the value of money. I knew what I had to do to earn that meager paycheck, so I was a little more careful how I spent it.
If you feel like you are in a dead-end job right now, perhaps looking at some of the early jobs of these CEO’s will provide comfort and motivation. Then make an appointment to see a career counselor to see how you can define and plan out your next steps to your career of choice!