2. Lesson: Working with others can teach you how to communicate effectively.
I worked at a cafe/bakery as a cashier in high school. From ages 15-18, I worked every day after school and on Sundays. I really learned to break out of my shell and communicate effectively with all sorts of people and work in a fast-paced environment. The skills I learned at that first job have been invaluable. Taking on that much responsibility and developing good work ethic has helped me for every job since.
– Anna Roberts, associate food editor
3. Lesson: Hard work is just that . . . HARD.
At my first job, I worked in a sign-making factory doing manual labor of all kinds of varieties during third shift with my dad (everything from working on an assembly line to packing boxes and folding signs). The biggest takeaway I got from it was just a huge amount of respect for him for the hard work – he did really tough manual labor every single night to support our family. We were on our feet all night, and it was a hard job. That Summer just made me appreciate my dad even more than I already did.
– Hedy Phillips, copy editor
4. Lesson: Try not to burn bridges.
I worked at a PR agency straight out of college with a very difficult boss. She was demanding, prone to emotional mood swings, and manipulative. I would come home crying almost every day. As challenging as it was, I still treated her with respect and never said/did anything I’d regret later while I was looking for a new job. I was able to quit without any sort of drama, and I could still use her as a reference to this day. I learned a very important lesson that no matter how frustrated you are at a job (or at an apartment, relationship, etc.), you should try your absolute best not to burn bridges along the way.