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How Having A Job Has Given Me Valuable Skills

It all started when I was working at a tee-shirt shop the summer before my junior year of high school. I was so excited to get to work every morning and open the store to start folding! What fun, right? For me, it was incredible. Being responsible for a building that I could call my own was the most responsibility I had ever been given. I took pride in my salesmanship, relationship with customers and responsibility to make the store as welcoming as possible.

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My love for working didn’t quite start until I began hosting and serving at a five star resort in my hometown. I was the youngest employee hired in one of the fanciest restaurants I had ever seen. Being surrounded by older and wiser individuals made me incredibly motivated to do better then my best. However, being a senior in high school while working full-time wasn’t the most ideal combination. Learning time management was key in addition to always being prepared for work by having a change of clothes in my car. By having absolutely no free time, I was forced to know where my priorities lied, which helped me immensely in the long run with balancing courses, clubs and work. 

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In addition, this was my first job where I was really making money with the tips I received. The feeling of getting money is wonderful, but for me, seeing that I could really help my parents pay for college was something I was and continue to be so thankful for. Until this moment, I feel like I hadn’t seen my hard work truly pay off until I got tangible evidence every two weeks showing me I was making a contribution to my family. In addition to making money, I learned a greater value for the money I received. I find when I am debating buying something, I equate it to how many hours I would have to work for it. This has helped me save even more money and make better purchases. 

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By working in a fine dining atmosphere at such a young age, I learned excellent communication skills and how to present myself professionally. By having great communication skills, you not only are clearer to colleagues and guests, but it helps avoid potential conflicts that may arise from miscommunication. These skills helped me progress in my most recent jobs as a concierge and stylist. Learning skills like these have helped me in all facets of life. In addition to working with others and talking to guests, I feel I now have a better perspective of my dream job, and I have acquired more motivation to get where I want to be. No matter where you work, you are gaining valuable skills for the rest of your life. I still find myself as excited to go to work as I did for my first job. I cannot wait to see how I feel at my dream job. 

Ava Burford is a junior at UCLA. She is passionate about uplifting others through her writing, philanthropic work and blog. She is apart of the sorority Pi Beta Phi and enjoys running and being with her family in her free time.
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