My first real job was one I got through sheer persistence. I was literally the "squeaky wheel!"
At 15, I was a year too young to get hired at most jobs, but I was desperate to have a job and prove myself. I wanted to be a veterinarian at the time and a new vet was opening up at the shopping center a few miles from my house. I biked down to that shopping center every day as they worked on its construction, hoping to catch the proprietor. As luck would have it, I did! She happened to be a tiny little person and I was a big strong girl. She was reluctant to hire me, but after a few days I convinced her to let me work hauling the dog food around and cleaning cages. After a few months, she was training me to handle the animals and do basic preventive and vet technician work. I worked there for a year, finally leaving after I realized I didn't have the stomach for some of the more emotional aspects of the work.
The pay was not great, but the life experience was invaluable. I learned that hard work and persistence pay off, that you can learn to do almost anything, and that the only doors that are truly closed are the ones you do not open yourself. I also learned a lot about interacting with people when they are troubled, and how to teach people older than myself to handle their pets. At 40-years-old with two kids and two poodles, I am still using those skills daily. No job I have ever held has been useless, and I am looking forward to seeing how my girls launch into their first jobs. My 14-year-old has already started walking to the nearest shopping center to scope out the possibilities!
Thank you, by the way, for encouraging me daily (on-air) to keep my most important job prioritized. I am a full-time wife and mom with an Master’s in Organizational Communication. When you ask my 14-year-old what she wants to be when she grows up, she says, "I want to get really smart and then be a mom like you." It doesn't get much better than that. I love that both my girls think it takes a graduate level education to properly parent! Really though, what it takes is just being there.
Blessings to you,