Part Time Jobs, Honestly Can Help Prepare You For Your Career

We've all been there at one point or another. (Still from Pete & Pete)

I’ve been talking with my brother recently about his job search. Mostly just updates on where he’s applied, how he hasn’t gotten any call backs and mild frustration at the job market. This got me thinking about my past job experience while I was in high school and college. I held a wide variety of jobs; hostest, concessionaire at a movie theater, park attendent, sushi chef, “Craft Shop Whitney” (my favorite title), newspaper sales rep and on and on. Each one of those positions expanded my resume. Looking back at it I honestly learned a lot of great traits at each job.

My challenge to you today, or this week I understand we’re all busy, is to think back over all of your part time positions over the years and list at least one thing you learned at each position. Try not to list things like “how to operate a cash register” think of the time the cash register was on the fritz and you had a line of customers a mile long. What did you do? It’s those lessons that make part time jobs worth the monotony and frustration. It’s also tales like that, that help in a job interview situation. A great story about how you thought on your feet, pleased customers and still got your basic duties done can wow future employers if explained properly.

I started thinking back over all of my positions and I think one of my favorite stories like that is when I worked at the movie theater and I had to break up a fight between a Storm Trooper and Wookie (it was one of the Star War’s premiers.) Anyway, I had to calm them down and either escort them or get them to stop fighting with each other. I had to channel a special type of big sister no-nonsense and at the same time try to empathize with people who it’s safe to say I had nothing in common with. (Star Wars took place on a space ship right?) Luckily I was able to talk them down, I don’t have a clue what I said, and everyone went on their merry way. What this taught me was how to identify with people I have nothing in common with and work with their desires and frustrations to allow both sides to realize that the issue can easily be solved on both sides.

Ok now I’ve given you a couple examples, get out there and write down your stories. Make sure that you have a one  or two sentence summary explaining what you learned in that experience. That way you’ll easily be able to recall it when in an interview setting and you won’t have to worry about rambling on for minutes at a time.


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