Are you a retail clerk, a telemarketer, or a cook at the Wendy’s down the street? Do you feel like this is just a starter job? You think this job probably doesn’t matter to the career path that you have dreamed of and are working hard for. You could be dreaming of becoming an accountant, doctor, or technologist, so you assume being a cook or working the drive-in is only helping you pay your bills and there is nothing else to it.
Do you know that you are learning valuable skills as a clerk or cook or all the other similar seemingly menial jobs, that cannot be learned even after paying $7000 a year at college? That’s right. According to the latest study, College Boards reported that on average you have to spend $7000 a year for a college education! Is it truly possible that the skills you are learning in the starter job — – the job that is helping you get by, the job that just pays your bills for now – actually matter?
The good news – no… the great news – is that these jobs matter! What you are learning on these jobs is crucial to your future success! So much so, that everybody must do these jobs once in their life to be successful!
1. Fast food
A stint in the fast food world teaches you valuable skills for life. You’ll learn to listen, react promptly, and carry out orders in an efficient manner. As a fast food cook, you learn to carry out orders in a skilled way and with an efficient process. You learn to develop a process and execute it. The tight metrics help you understand inefficiencies and fine-tune the process to eliminate them. Similarly, if you are taking orders at the drive-through, getting accurate and complete information in a timely fashion is very important. The skills you learn in the fast food environment are transferable skills that can almost be considered as disciplines that you adopt for the rest of your life in this fast-paced world.
2. Telemarketer or Sales
A sales position in any capacity, regardless of whether its a car salesman or a telemarketer, gives you the opportunity to understand the sales cycle and the psychological aspect of sales. Sales is not my passion, I don’t intend to sell anything ever in my career, you may think. That is not true though. You are going to constantly sell something for the rest of your life. It may not be products, but you will sell an idea or persuade someone to do something. The art and skill of persuasion is a learnable skill. What better way to get to learn and practice it than at a sales job that pays you to persuade!
Nowadays, startup businesses and ventures are popping up all around us. Any position at a startup teaches you to hustle! At a startup, everyone wears multiple hats and plays different roles. You learn to do things outside of a regular job description. You learn to do more with less. You learn aspects of business building that no B-school can give you real-life experience on. All of these are important skills and knowledge that will help you in succeed in your career.
The world of retail is a fascinating one. It’s another job relying on an efficient and optimized system. Retail is a great place to learn how to cater to the customer’s needs. The world of retail is constantly changing to cater to the numerous customer requirements. Learning to adapt and service these changing needs of the customer in an efficiency driven environment is a key skill. The world of retail also offers numerous opportunities for people management – from logistics (in terms of scheduling shifts, etc.) to evaluating people’s performance and building team spirit. These are essential skills in any future career!
5. Customer Service Representative (CSR)
Being at the receiving end of an angry customer call is no fun. It can be truly infuriating and frustrating. However, it’s also a great opportunity to truly put the needs of the customer above you! Learning to deal with people’s emotions, represent the company you work for in a positive way, and truly help a distraught person are commendable skills to have. An opportunity as a CSR teaches you just all of this and more. You also learn the ins and outs of the product or service you are representing.
Sales, people management and development, Customer Service, hustling, and process efficiencies are all must-know and must-have skills for success in any career, as well as in life.
Featured photo credit: www.cwcs.co.uk via flickr.com