Most teenagers have some sort of a job in their high school years: grocery clerk, babysitter or waitress; but not too many have an office job like I did.
Throughout my last two years of high school I was fortunate enough to be able to work for an attorney. Now, let me start out by saying that no, I do not want to be a lawyer (and I didn't when I started working for him), but having this job showed me what I really want to do, and the experience to do just that.
The Three Things I Learned at My Office Job:
- Time Management - balancing going to high school, and everything that goes along with it (i.e. friends, boyfriend, a social life), and an office job wasn't easy. I felt like I had less hours in the day than everyone else. That is until I learned how to manage my time. I started planning what homework I was going to do when, and for how long; making plans with my friends a week in advance; scheduling study dates with my boyfriend so I could multi-task; and even planning some downtime. Soon it felt like I had control of my days again.
- Organization - Becoming a full-time student as well as a full-time employee required some serious organization. Because I was going to work immediately after school, and often the gym immediately after work, I had to figure out how to get everything I needed for the day, (books, binders, clothes, computer, sneakers) in my small back pack. However, after about a week of working full-time I realized bringing a backpack into the office wasn't very.. appropriate, so I invested in my favorite tote bag from Tory Burch, and some handy-dandy mini bags and bam! I became organized. After having to organize my bag everyday, I began to organize my life in other ways, like keeping my desk neat and cleaning out my closet once a month. Little changes like this have really helped make my days less stressful and more productive.
- How to Take Criticism - When I first started my job I was trained by the girl I was replacing. She explained to me basically everything I'd ever have to do while working there, and I thought I knew it all. I always rushed to finish my work, and was too afraid to ask my boss for help when I was confused, because I waned to seem like I could do everything. Well I messed up, a lot. My boss saw what I was doing and called me into his office one day. He told me that if I don't ask for help I can never get better, and that he would rather me ask him a million questions than to constantly be turning in the wrong work. I took this advice in all aspects of my life; my grades in school went up because I was talking to my teachers and I gained enough responsibility at work to get bigger projects.
All three of these very important qualities have helped me accomplish my goals: getting into my top-choice schools for college, interviewing (and securing) internships in my major, and starting my own freelance marketing business.
Office jobs may seem boring in high school, but the experience and knowledge I learned during my two years in an office has given me the foundation I need to be successful in my college career.