My first job wasn’t really an actual profession. I just worked for a man named Andy Molatch as his “go-getter” guy. In other words, I just got him whatever tool or material he needed while he worked. This first job began a journey of work and life experience that has been really important. Since then, learning to balance the two has been hard and, likewise, an essential piece to living a fulfilling life.
This balance begins with the future. Ideally, employers don’t want to see that you have had so many jobs. They like consistency and don’t like seeing an employment history of bouncing around between jobs.
However, there’s a lot of movement in life during the early teen and college years. Between high school and college – perhaps a transfer or gap year, there’s a lot of time to shift and change. What better time to be learning the important balance between work and life experience?
That’s what happened to me.
The main lesson I gained from working with Andy Molatch (among the plethora of hard skills he taught me: driving a tractor, swinging a hammer, using a skill saw, etc.), was to be prepared (read: anticipate).
My dad told me on my first day, “If Mr. Molatch has to ask you for anything today, you’ve failed at your job.” Harsh! Yet, it was incredibly valuable. If he just measured and marked something to be cut, logically he’ll need his saw next– plugged in and ready to go. Anticipating what’s next on the job is something that will serve you well in an office, job site, school classroom, or anywhere else.
To date, I’ve done a lot of different odd jobs – most of which have provided me with skills that I call back on daily.
In order I’ve worked at the following:
- Harris Teeter, a grocery chain.
- Autobell Carwash
- Campus Food Services
- McAlister’s Deli
- Mellow Mushroom Pizza
- Camp Rockmont
- Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine
- Hatchet Coffee
- Timberlake’s Restaurant
- Four Circles Wilderness Recovery Center
- SUWS of the Carolinas
- Camp Rockmont again!
That’s a lot of places to work, but the perspectives that I’ve received have helped me countless times as I’ve been in new places.
The maintenance at Autobell taught me about working with large machinery. Harris Teeter taught me customer service. McAlister’s Deli taught me that sometimes, even if you think you deserve the promotion, someone else gets it, and that’s just a part of life. Mellow Mushroom taught me resilience and working under pressure. Rockmont continues to teach me patience, how to love, and how to take your work seriously while having fun. Doc’s Rocks taught me basic geology – something I use in my Rock Climbing often. Hatchet Coffee continued the lesson of Doc’s Rocks on how to work in a small business. Four Circles taught me survival skills, how to look past people’s pasts, and how blessed I am. SUWS taught me how lucky I am to have such incredible parents.
Now as the Intern at Rockmont, I harken back on these experiences often. They’ve shaped who I am and how I look to lead. These lessons have been cornerstones of my life and things that have really opened my perspective to what is possible in the world. I realized I didn’t want to go to culinary school, but I still love whipping up new recipes. I’m finding balance.
It has been incredibly important for me to learn and grow in these jobs. As someone who never sits still, having a job is a great outlet for my fidgeting body; plus I got paid.
Get out there and try new things. Take opportunities and work hard.
Those are three things that few people regret.