I remember my first summer job! It was waitressing and cleaning tables at a local steak house. It was a very humbling experience, as the first time I delivered a large tray of plated steaks to a table, I didn’t consider the balance of the tray and promptly, dropped all of them on the floor.
In my horror, I looked at the steaks on the floor, and looked back at the customers, who were staring too! I know they were conflicted! They wanted to make me feel better; I apologized profusely, knelt down and began collecting my mess and immediately returned to the kitchen with the order ticket, to have the steaks – PREPARED AGAIN!
I have heard it said repeatedly, every failure is one step closer to SUCCESS! And it is true. So, what did I learn about my job as a teenager. I learned that having a job comes with responsibility. I had to clock in on time, deliver the steak dinners with a smile on my face and confidence in my step. I learned that I could not quit because of one “glass of spilled milk”, that I needed to sweep up my mess, apologize and carry on!
I also learned quickly, that teenage employment is a time to determine the specific skills I have, the skills I want to sharpen, and define the things that I don’t care to do in the future. I have never worked in the restaurant industry since. My decision to work with people in another capacity, education, seems to fit my skill set better!
One thought on “Teen jobs: Failure is one step closer to success”
My jobs as a teen were varied and excellent career exploration for me too! Maid, laundry at a resort, waitress at a truck stop, copy girl at a tax office, camp counselor, bean walker, babysitter, sweet corn seller – all taught me valuable skills and gave me insight into my interests, talents and aspirations! My volunteer roles and leadership opportunities were also helpful – costume design and construction for my high school Spanish club, washing and repairing athletic uniforms (phew!), Assistant 4-H club leader, Sunday school volunteer, church council member, all these experiences shaped my vision for my future!