8 Things My First High School Job Taught Me

These days it seems that the high school job isn’t as popular as it was. Between an increase in after school activities and more adults working in part time positions, high school jobs don’t seem to be as much of a norm as they were.  But they still exist.  I believe that they provide a tremendous experience.  I know it did for me.

My High School Job

I was lucky enough to work for family.  I got to work at a collectibles store owned and run by my uncle and aunt.  They opened their store right when the market on figurines and such were ramping up, and developed a reputation as one of the top collectible stores in the area.

I worked a lot of evenings (after school) and weekends.  They were closed on Sunday so I always had a day off.  In a store like that you do everything from unpacking boxes to working the registers to helping people find that just right item.

Now that I look back I realize that the experience really helped me in many ways.

8 Lessons Learned At My First High School Job

  1. Responsibility.  Having a job teaches you responsibility.  They depended on us to make sure things went well  I worked hard to earn and keep their confidence.
  2. Planning.  Getting a job was a big change.  But,learning to incorporate this into my life at that age made it easier down the line.
  3. Time Management. I learned to manage my schedule.  To this day, I

    rely on my calendar to tell me what is happening when.  Making sure I was able to honor all of my commitments when I got my job helped me.

  4. People Skills. The store was the type of business where you didn’t just ring up customers.  You had to work with them, ask questions, and really listen.  I learned valuable people and communications kills.
  5. Money.  I learned a lot from my parents, by good example, on excellent personal money habits.  But, when you work at a business you see things from a different perspective.  This is where I learned a lot about cash flow, basic accounting, credit, and such.
  6. Product Info.  The store sold a lot of items that customers got really excited about.  We had to stay on top of knowing what is new, what is hot, etc.  Many times people came in with no idea what they really wanted.  Knowing the product made sure that I could point them in the right direction.
  7. Relationships.  My uncle developed a lot of relationships.  He would often spend an hour chatting with someone, and they’d walk out empty handed.  Over time I learned that more often than not, they would come back and become regular customers.
  8. Working With Others.  There were a few of us that worked at the store.  Being able to work as part of a team is important, and for me, this started here.

What Is Your High School Job Experience?

Readers, I’m curious how your first high school job went.  Did you have one?  Was it something you enjoyed?  What lessons did you take that you still use today?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for reading!

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7 thoughts on “8 Things My First High School Job Taught Me

  1. My first job, I wrapped vegetables in a store that sold produce. It was not a respectful workplace environment, and I learned how important it is to work with good people. My next job, I worked with 3-6 year-olds at a summer daycamp. I LOVED it! Besides learning about planning, being reliable, and working as a team, I learned that I love working with children : )
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  2. My *very* first job was picking raspberries for a month one summer – my friend was doing it, as her father had decided his kids were going to work that summer. It really was only feasible because her dad would get up at the crack of dawn every morning to drive us to the farm – the perils of being 13 and working – the farm was too far for us to bike to work.

    We were paid $3 per flat of berries that we picked. I …hated it. It was miserable – hot, exhausting, physical labour. You would either wear long sleeved shirts – and melt in the heat – or you could wear short sleeves and then not only your hands, but your arms would get all scratched up by the thorns.

    My goal was to make $100 – I had negotiated with my mom that if I earned half of the cost of the portable stereo that I wanted for my birthday, that was $199, then she would pay for the other half.

    And – I did it – it was really the first thing that I ever wanted, and had to earn money to pay for (at least part of). I *really* appreciated my “ghetto blaster” and I took care of it and even ended up taking it to college with me in my first year at school 🙂

    What I learned from it was that I had the ability to do hard work to achieve my goals – and that I *really* needed to go to university after high school, because I wanted my career to be FAR LESS about physical labour

    • That’s a fantastic story and a great lesson learned. Actually a few great lessons in that one. I know that picking fruits and vegetables is pretty back breaking work. Not from experience, of course, but I’ve read enough accounts to believe it! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I worked as admin assistant whilst in high school and learnt a great deal in the process. I learnt a lot about developing strong relationships and meeting commitments. I can vividly remember my manager, who was so diligent and committed to ensuring all promises to customers were met even if it meant working late.
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