Do you still remember the first ever part-time job you applied for? Working part-time at an F&B outlet, retail store, or at the ubiquitous higher-paying banquet jobs are the go-tos in our generation.
Some of you may be a natural at sales and went for the jobs that came with commission bonuses, such as at IT fairs and exhibitions.
When I interviewed some of my friends, they couldn’t remember what their first job was. In retrospect, if you can recall what your first part-time job was, would you do it again?
Could there be a better choice that might have given you an advantage when you’ve reached the time to embark on your career? Maybe something that would be a value-adding component in your resume or LinkedIn profile?
The Millennials Have Spoken
I’ve used the power of social media – specifically, Instagram’s Q&A function in Insta Stories – to do a quick survey.
These are some of the responses I’ve gotten:
As mentioned earlier, this is a very simple survey that does not speak for all of us millennials. However, there is some truth in them.
Many of us had the intentions of finding a part-time job to earn a quick buck, try something new, and have fun with friends. For many of us, it was also to establish some sort of independence – we finally get to earn our own money.
The 2 Common Part-Time Jobs
Finding a part-time job in F&B outlets are relatively easier due to a lack of manpower.
Reminisce with me the time when you and friends had good fun either in the kitchen or at the front-end as servers. Also, remember the times when things got heated.
Not all customers will be nice because you were young and new. Sometimes, they get irritated at younger part-time staff because the latter was incompetent, or a slow learner (to sugarcoat things) – these customers show that they’re unhappy.
You might have gotten a lashing or even killer stares from your manager – I remember I did when I was handling the dessert & pastry station during the insane peak hours.
But these things grow you, to learn better and be better. Not only in terms of your skills but also it refines your character; actually preparing you for real-life work life.
Retail stores refer to the vast range of brands that we may or may not be familiar with. From the affordable yet stylish Charles & Keith and H&M to high-end luxury goods like Christian Louboutin and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Retail part-time jobs would seem to come with several perks like staff discounts but as a person who’s been in those innocent and naive shoes – these big brands know what they’re doing and don’t give such discounts so generously.
In fact, some retail stores require you to work for a certain period of time before they actually register you as a staff with discount privileges. Getting a retail part-time job may demand a little more of your observation and sales skills. Sadly, this is something they don’t teach you in school.
You Have Other Choices
What if I told you that you could earn more money doing something that provides you with greater value? Looking back at things, “fun” and “a quick buck” were the main decision-making factors we had in mind.
The one thing that was missing on the list of reasons was: How will this help me in the future?
Although many of us reading this right now have long gone past that phase, it’s never too late to change the way we choose our next steps in life. Perhaps, we are gifted with an opportunity to give advice to someone who’s finding their first ever part-time job.
You could make money out of your passions too! Start selling your drawings online, go door-to-door selling something useful or even ice-cream, learn how to code, create social media accounts and start selling marketing services, be a freelance photo/video editor, rent a camera and get a photoshoot gig.
Working at the F&B and retail outlets aren’t bad at all. They build our character, teach us time management skills, to be a little more financial intelligent, and both technical and soft skills.
These are the hardest “subjects” to learn if you were to put them in schools, simply because schools are too safe and protected; it’s a controlled environment where we were shielded from the notoriety of life.
Be open-minded to the other avenues to make revenues.