I’ve been a worker bee since I was 16. I got my first job at a Jamba Juice right down the street from my house. As life would have it, the day my orthodontist rid me of the metal death traps superglued to my teeth the past year (aka braces), was also my first day as an official team member. From that point until present day, I have thankfully never been without a job for too long. Since then I’ve been a waiter, gym receptionist, a mad scientist, office manger, camp counselor, shift manager, babysitter, and training manager.
The transition from less serious jobs to my first 9-5 job was long awaited. I accepted a position as a customer service rep at a local company and I was ready for the routine of an office job. Now, 4 years and 1 position later, there are 3 major things I took for granted in my pre-professional life:
- A flexible Schedule. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t arranging my own schedule, yet having different hours week to week had its perks. I never woke up before the sun, I made it to the gym at a reasonable time, and could even start my mornings off at the beach or with friends. There was no rush and the simple act of not knowing what was coming next week, really pushed me to use the time left over well. By the time I accepted my first 9 to 5 job, I craved a consistent routine to keep from going crazy. But for those eight magical years, having a jellyfish-like schedule served me well.
- A work uniform. I haven’t worn a work uniform in years, however one of the benefits of a collared red polo and unshapely black pants is that you never have to think about what you’re going to wear! If you ever come to my apartment and see the state of my room, 99.9% of the mess is a result of not knowing what to wear in the morning. The thing about uniforms is you don’t really expect to look cute in them. If you happen to look cute, you can call yourself a winner and strut into work like it’s your catwalk. If you dont look cute, you can always blame the uniform. Once the responsibility of choosing daily attire shifted back onto my shoulders, I was solely to blame for any fashion faux pas. I realized two unfortunate things: 1. I didn’t have enough appropriate clothes to wear and 2. I had way too many useless items in my closet. An unending catch 22.
- Company discounts. I currently work at a non-profit agency and as much as I love what I do, there are times I miss that 50% off all clothing or trading smoothies for pizza and garlic knots with the staff at the local pizza shop within walking distance. Granted, I spent way too much of my check on stuff and way too much time scanning clothing racks, but there was something heartwarming about my co-workers saving the last top in my size cause they thought it would “compliment my skin tone.” P.s. now you know how I ended up in the closet situation I am currently in. (and I don’t even like shopping!)
Hats off to you pre-twenty fivers trying to make it. If you’re currently working a summer job you love to hate, heed my advice: soak it in. There’s mo much more magic left in those moments.