If you ask any adult who is in their 30s about their first job, they’re more than likely to crack a smile and immediately flashback, reminiscing on simpler times.
My mom’s first job was McDonald’s when she was 16-years-old. On her first day she met a fellow new employee, they became friends quickly and now fast forward 30 years — that friend is now my godmother.
In today’s world, my peers no longer fully understand the value of not only hard work, but minimum wage paying jobs. Unfortunately, this generation often expects the best results with the least amount of effort. Such thinking is caused by seeing peers on yachts and wearing bracelets that cost more than one semester at Baylor. In a place so exotic, it’s not even on Google Maps.
In a generation of oversharing and new content updating in the blink of an eye, it’s seemingly hard to start off with humble beginnings. It’s hard in the sense of growing up in a working, middle class family where nothing has been handed to them. Rather, than showing what their journey from the bottom to the top consisted of, scroll after scroll, people only share the parts of their lives that are happy and flourishing, with perfect lighting to match.
Due to that constant social media reminder my peers and I receive every time our phone unlocks, we developed this notion that earning minimum wage, budgeting and living paycheck to paycheck, in our young adult years, isn’t normal.
Well it is, and the lessons and experience you gain from them pay off tenfold throughout the rest of your life — I’m proof of it.
This past summer, I was a swim instructor from Monday to Saturday and a front desk attendant at a local country club from Friday to Sunday. It was easily one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to balance because it was physically demanding each day while also emotionally draining since I had to interact with a myriad of patrons each day.
Since working those jobs, I’ve gained an appreciation for hard work and for those who were in similar positions before me. More importantly, I earned a building block that I can use to further myself toward a career of my choice.
Working taught me how to collaborate with others who weren’t raised like me such as a 65-year-old co-worker who never went to college. It showed me the importance of consistency and starting everything you finish when students who could barely stand in water originally, swam 50-yards with ease.
Teenagers and young adults alike need to experience humble beginnings because it will truly mold them into a more well-rounded individual in the workforce.
Minimum wage trickling into someone’s bank account is something that, I feel, all young adults should experience. It reminds you of what you’re building off of and when you get to that illustrious corner office, you’ll look back on your fond memories of what happened back of where you began.