What My First Job at 14 Taught Me…

Stands in the fitting room assisting customers trying on their clothes while folding clothes all at once.

“Hi miss, you can step right into the first fitting room. Let me know if you need anything!”

“Ok, thank you”

Patiently waits for customers to be done trying on clothes while organizing the unwanted clothes. Suddenly, women walks out of fitting room with just one item while leaving her unwanted clothes in the room.

“ How did everything go (smiles)?”

“ Did you look at my face before asking me if everything is okay?”

“ Ms, I just wanted to know if everything was okay and if you liked any of the clothes you tried on”

“Next time, learn how to speak to customers before you approach them”

“ How about you learn how to treat others with respect..the way I speak is just fine”

Customer looks at my face in shock and walks away…

This was an incident that had occurred while working in a retail store. Just like any retailer, they emphasize on making sure the customer is happy BUT I am sorry, just because I am the associate doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be treated with respect.

If I could go back in time to where I was fully dependent on my parents for money I would. Most of the time, adults like to say wait until you’re done with college to get a job but I like to disagree. With the cost of living rising, especially in places like NYC its impossible not to work to gain some extra cash. I got my first job at the age of 14 in a program called Summer Youth Employment Program. I am sure if you are a resident of NY you know this is a program facilitated for teens to keep themselves busy during the summer. Now although this was my first job, it wasn’t as serious as my first real job in the summer of 2015. At this point, I was 18 working at a retail store. I’ll be the first to tell you that working at a retail store sucks. Granted, I love working because it gives me the ability to keep busy and most importantly gain an income. However it can ultimately drain you especially at a young age.

One big lesson I learned is that working at a young age helps you build responsibility, mature faster and most importantly give you an idea of what adult life is like so that you don’t get any surprises. Let’s not forget, it allows you to learn the value of money!

  1. Working at a young age teaches your responsibility: When I first got my first paycheck, I spent my money on ridiculous things. I spent it on food, hanging out and even clothes. Essentially, I was not budgeting or managing my money. What 14 year old knows how to manage money? All I cared about was having money of my own. Fast forward to now, I have been able to balance my money based on my responsibilities and my eagerness to put money away into my savings account. I realized that working long hours would cost me my sleep and most importantly my free time. So if I am working hard for MONEY, I need to spend it wisely.
  2. Working at a young age helps you learn how to communicate effectively: During my first retail job, I worked with a lot of different people from different backgrounds and of all ages. This gave me the opportunity to not only learn from them but also learn how to interact with people in the workforce. After all, being able to communicate with you coworkers is beneficial to having a stress free environment. I believed this helped me mature faster in the professional field.
  3. Working at a young age added to the list of experiences on my resume: Ever since I started working, I have been unable to just tell myself “stop working for a while”. I feel this kind of drive has helped me understand the responsibility of going to work and getting things done. I believe that if I started working after college, I would have had a hard time adjusting. 
  4. Working at a young age has given me the motivation to do and be better: I cannot stress that working at a young age has opened up my eyes in ways that words cannot explain. If you’d like to really go in depth you can contact me and we can chat. However, yes, I’ve been able to grow with every job experience. I have been able to become open minded about the places I can go and most importantly give myself to chance to explore my options.

I hope this has give you an idea of how to build yourself professionally in the workforce. Whether you are a teen, college student or an adult, take the time out to learn from your work experience. Use it as a platform to grow as an individual. Remember, no one learns how to do their job or be an adulthood without training first.


         Zara Ribbed Tube Skirt and Cold Shoulder Ribbed Sweater | PrettyLittleThing Gold Strappy Heels



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