Small Jobs Matter Too
Small jobs, you know the ones; we take them to fill in gaps. To pay the bills until something better comes along. There are a couple of different things that can happen in this circumstance. One, we can treat this “job” as if it is our career and make the absolute best out of it; or we can treat it as nothing more than a pitstop.
The fact, however, is that if you choose the latter you may become frustrated, bored, resentful, and basically miserable each day when you go to work.
Today’s Role is a Building Block to Your Future
Every position that you hold is a valuable learning tool. Each one happens at a different point in your life and holds valuable lessons that you are meant to learn at that moment in time.
When I was very young, I was a waitress. I started that job at 16 years old; I had no idea what a work ethic was. But, I knew that I wanted to be the best waitress I could be so I modeled myself after the best. I listened to my managers, I watched my customers react to various levels of service provided. I learned quickly that friendly competent service provided generous tips and happy customers.
All of the skills and experiences we gain over the years serve as building blocks. Sometimes you don’t recognize this until many years later. Suddenly you are in a situation, perhaps with an irate client; you remember the customers you waited on in the restaurant and how you spoke to them to resolve the situation. You repeat the skill and your client settles down. It seemed like second nature to you, something you didn’t even think about; but in reality you learned the skill in an earlier position.
Be Your Best to Become YOUR Best
Make the most of each experience. Be the best. If you are behind the counter at Walgreens or a Project Manager in a large corporation, be your personal best. Work is a privilege and even if you aren’t where you want to be, this is where you are today. Today you are learning how to be better for tomorrow. No matter your age or level, your future is still unfolding.
How it Comes Together
As a waitress I learned excellent customer service skills. Working as a flight attendant gave me amazing skills in interacting with people of all professional levels; skills that I later needed when I traveled extensively in my human resources positions. I wasn’t consciously trying to gain skills, I was trying to do my best every day at the job I was working; the skills were a bonus.
As an elementary school teacher I learned different methods of teaching for various types of learners. I was able to take those same skills later on and use them as I trained professionals on various topics like time management and leadership. Same skill set, different circumstance.
That job also provided me with the empathy I needed to see the need for an eBook (Your Place in the Work Place) on toxic work environments. I never dreamed I would use that experience to help others in the future; it goes to prove that we don’t realize we are building our future selves with every single experience.
It’s All a Path You Were Meant to Take
Give the small jobs the same effort you would give to your dream job. You will find great satisfaction in any position when you do this. You will also find that your future begins to shape itself.
Cynthia Corsetti, CPCC, MS is a certified career coach, executive coach and leadership speaker whose focus is on improving employee engagement.
Hello, I created it myself but hired someone to help me with the forms and so on. It got to be too complicated for my limited knowledge.