I turned in my first job application the day after my sixteenth birthday. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and couldn’t wait for the awesome independence of earning my own money—and driving myself to my own job, too.
I’m several years older, and about a billion times more realistic (and probably bitter) now than I was that day. I have a much larger and more put-together resume, more focused career and life goals… but I still have just as much excitement about the prospect of a new job.
A majority of the jobs that I have worked in the past have been pretty mentally and sometimes physically taxing—and that’s changed my outlook on being another adult in the workforce. Ironically enough, all the difficulties of the jobs I’ve have made me more motivated and more thankful for the opportunities I have to work and go to school.
I spent several months working as a Certified Nurse Assistant in an Alzheimer’s center. I woke up every Sunday morning at 5:00am to make it to work on time, and spent eight hours there cleaning and feeding people who couldn’t do it themselves. It was so heart wrenching and emotionally taxing to witness, and a lot of days, I didn’t know if I could last the entire day.
However, it was also one of the most incredible and powerful experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve become a lot more compassionate, independent, and resilient person as a result—and I’m so thankful to have had that experience. I probably wouldn’t choose to work that job again in my life, but I wouldn’t have been so motivated to pursue a career in health care if I hadn’t worked in a nursing home.
My point in all of this really is that no matter what job you have, you’ll probably spend a lot of time complaining about it or hating on it. But remember to be glad for the experiences that you’ve had in the workforce, because whether you realize it or not, it’s shaping you into another person, and often a better person.