Four Jobs Eveyone Should Try
If you’ve ever played a sport in your life, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Practice like you play.” or “Every repetition matters.” Whether it’s a swing, slapshot, jump shot, throw, kick, juke, jump, sprint or toss, you need to be focused and do it like you are in your top game form.
Have you ever thought about your life in this manner?
The hardest thing that I see time and time again is that not a lot of students know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. This is not a bad thing by any means. The future will always be uncertain. That is a truth that everyone needs to realize. It is not, however, supposed to scare you. In fact, it should do the opposite. You have your whole life ahead of you, so you better start taking advantage of it RIGHT NOW!
Every day you come to school or go to work you are attempting to learn more, make more money and better your future self. All of your at-bats matter. You are less likely to hit a homer if you’ve never swung a bat before. This is true in collecting and sharing your experiences. You have to be thoughtful about the practice and experience you’ve had in the past.
No matter where you end up, there are always soft skills that you will need to have in order to succeed and to beat out other job candidates. Based on my experience, and the experience of some of my mentors, I’ve come up with four jobs that I think will help you to become a better leader, and position you for success in your upcoming career.
- A service job
- A customer service support role
- Manual Labor
Here’s why each of these types of jobs can help you become better:
- Service Jobs: The primary example that I like to talk about is a server or a waiter. In this role, you become the face of the business represented on the sign out front. You are expected to be kind, courteous, prompt and at the end of the transaction, you leave an impression on the person or group that you served. Servers also have to deal with tough situations. Imagine a return customer who never tips. You are still expected to treat that person just like everyone else who walks into your work. This job sets you up to think about how a customer wants to be treated, and can also give you immediate feedback at the end of a transaction in the form of a gratuity or a note to your supervisor/manager.
- Customer Service Support Jobs: The best way to learn about what a company does is to be on the customer support side of things. Again, this is another area where you deal with people outside of your organization, but in this role you are expected to disarm upset customers and leave them with a sense of satisfaction for calling in. You get to see firsthand how a company works and learn a lot about the types of people that are using that company’s products. In this role you also get to see how a larger company’s management team works as well. Understanding organizational structure is not easy, but typically the larger the organization the more levels of management there are. You may also meet a person who has started from the bottom and worked their way into a management or even C-level position and see what it truly takes to do just that.
- Sales: Sales positions will seriously pull you out of your comfort zone. Don’t think you HAVE to knock on doors or make cold calls all day long. Most sales jobs have come a long way since those days, but there still may be some of that kind of responsibility. Sales = Psychology. You can learn a lot about how and why people say yes and you will also learn that rejection is real. There are a million reasons for a person to say, “NO” to you, but only a few reasons that you can get them to say, “YES!” A euphoric roller coaster ride from No to Yes, but definitely worth a try. You may probably even learn more about yourself at the end of the day than you know about your product.
- Manual Labor: Everything else done above is not very stressful on the body, but can certainly be stressful on the mind. Manual labor is what I like to call one of the best problem-solving types of jobs that you can work in. You have time constraints to get tasks done, materials that you have to manage carefully, and clients (or at least your boss has clients) who expect professional quality work. From start to finish you are using yourself to put things together and make things that weren’t there before. Think of all the intricacies in putting up one house. From electric, water, landscape, plumbing, technology, to a quality roof (I challenge anyone to try roofing for a summer!) and exterior … that is some hard work.
From everything that I’ve seen, everywhere I’ve worked, and all the great people that I get to talk to every day, the best candidates for the job are not the ones with the most experience, but the ones who can talk about why the experience they DO have helps prepare them for the job or career that they are applying for. Can you communicate effectively? Can you assert yourself when you are being treated unfairly? Can you understand and think of creative ways you might be able to solve a problem? Can you admit that you failed? Can you get along with people? Can you persuade them to believe in what you are doing or what you are selling? Can you show that you are willing to learn? People like real, genuine people. How can you be that person?
At the end of every work day–or the end of every school day–did you learn something that will help you out tomorrow? If you answered, “NO” then I’ll ask you, “Why not?”
– Max T –