Never underestimate the lessons learned from your first job

Fabienne Fleurantin/Staff Writer

It was an act of desperation.

I rested in my bed, my eyes filled with tears due to the agonizing frustration of not having enough funds to not only support myself, but my family.

The thing is, I never had a job before. Not a “real one” anyway. It was a nerve-wracking test of my abilities and I wondered to myself if I was capable of doing this whole “adulting” thing.

But, things needed to be paid for. I was no longer an individual. It was not about me. I had my family to think about, so I put aside my doubts and anxieties and applied to everything imaginable. became my best friend, and I was determined to find something. It would’ve been nice to find something that was close to my field of choice, but the repeated cycle of having little to no funds became an overwhelming sentiment that could no longer be handled. Things needed to change for me, fast.

I finally received an email stating that my application was viewed and that they wanted me to come in for an interview. Words could not express how happy I was when that email came to me. I was elated. From that day forward, I prepared my resume, outfit and possible questions that may be asked of me in order to possibly get this job.

Then the day came. I was so nervous, shaking in the bathroom, trying to change my flats to heels to make myself look presentable and hoping that I was good enough to be a part of this team. So I went in.

I ended up with a job, and what a relief that was. But, it was not what I expected.

I wanted to be a part of the Barnes & Noble team of booksellers, but I became part of the Cafe team instead. It caught me completely off guard. I mean, I’m a journalism major. Books, writing– those things are my comfort zone. Making coffee was not.

My first instinct was to quit, but I needed to money and I didn’t want to run so easily from something just because it came with a challenge. So I studied. I practiced. I trained. I kept going and overtime, I grew comfortable with my skills. I didn’t let the fear of failing deter me from trying my hardest, even if every cell inside my body was telling me otherwise.

I am grateful that I stayed and took the initiative to let this job become a lesson– I did not give up. Plus, I learned a new skill that I didn’t think I would ever get the hang of in my lifetime.

It made me see that when it comes to having your first job, things may not always go the way you want it. Things may be messy, convoluted and difficult. So is life. But at the end of the day, if you persist, things may turn out differently than you imagined.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo by William Iven on Unsplash.

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