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 a few miles from my house. The vet was a tiny little person and I was a big strong girl. She was reluctant to hire me, but I convinced her to let me work hauling dog food around and cleaning cages.
After a few months, she trained 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.
Thank you for encouraging me to keep my most important job prioritized. I am a full-time wife and mom with a 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.
Life Lessons Learned From My First Job