Think About Your First Job

Think About Your First Job

Think about your first job.

Do you remember how you felt on the first day, as you drove to work, parked your car, and went inside?

I drove my Honda from school to my first day of work at the local hospital’s dietary department. I blasted Pat Benatar’s “All Fired Up” on the stereo. I sang, loudly. I changed into my uniform in the bathroom and walked down a long white hallway to meet my supervisor.

Palms clammy, I shook her hand, and walked behind her from station to station as she introduced me to the other employees.

It wasn’t a glamorous job, or a difficult one, but I had plenty to learn. I looked to more experienced employees to show me the way, both in the mundane details of how to prepare the patients’ meal trays and the subtler skills of relating to the other workers.

If it has been years since your first day at your first job, do you remember how it felt? How desperately you wanted to succeed? How you looked to veteran workers to help you learn what you needed to know?

If you are a leader in the workplace, you have an opportunity — a responsibility — to help others develop.

While you may not work with seventeen year olds, or even with new college graduates, you probably work with employees who are new to your organization, or who are learning a new job responsibility. People in transition at work need encouragement and direction from veterans.

One way to find motivation is to remember how it feels to be young, how it feels to be inexperienced.

To do that, stop, and think about your first job.

Join the conversation:

Share about your first job. How did you feel?

Where do you find the motivation to help others develop?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

Filed As:  LeaderTalk, encouragement

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Almost everyone is fired up and ready to go on the first day of work. From there, for many people, it’s only downhill. That’s one reason why it’s so important to pay attention to how we select those first line supervisors. In some of my research I found that, after parents, the most powerful influence on a leadership behavior comes from a person’s first boss.

  • Love your point here, Becky! It is something we do well to remember. I am getting first hand feedback on this, since my 17 year old has taken on his first job, teaching drums at his old elementary school! He’s so excited and nervous about it. Surely he will learn a lot from the experience and need much mentoring from his colleagues. Maybe it is easy for us to assist a teenager or college grad as they come to work in our companies, but what about the new recruits that don’t know the ropes? It also helps us to remember why we do things the way we do…

  • I agree, Becky, Onboarding is a company’s “first impression” and, like with people, our first encounter will carry more weight than any moving forward. When leaders shepherd new hires, they take pride in their company and their role as a leader. I know we agree, that the opportunity is a gift that should not be limited to the first day.

  • I think Wally’s point it right on. My first boss because such an influence in my life he became my mentor and best man at my wedding.

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