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The 15 Most Important Lessons I Learned from Every Job I’ve Ever Had


Which jobs have you had? I’m always curious about people’s work histories (are you, too?) and how they got to where they are today. I’ve worked since I was 15, so just for fun, I thought I’d share my list of jobs and the most important thing I learned from each one.

(In chronological order)

Private Math Tutor
Life Lesson #1: If I can convince someone to pay me money to teach them math, I can do anything.

Pizza Maker, Papa Murphy’s Take’n’bake Pizza
Life Lesson #2: If you buy cookie dough here, and it looks like a teenager stuck their finger in to eat a chunk, it’s because a teenager stuck their finger in to eat a chunk.

Sandwich Maker, The Sandwich Mill
Life Lesson #3: “You can’t be good at everything.” At least, that’s what the owner told me three days into my short-lived career.

Gymnastics Summer Camp Leader, YMCA
Life Lesson #4: Doing gymnastics really is as fun as it looks on TV.

Barista, Starbucks
Life Lesson #5: People say mean things before they’ve had their coffee. Try not to mind them.

Server, Johnny Rocket’s
Life Lesson #6: No one appreciates a 25ยข tip. No one.

Cafe associate, San Jose Discovery Museum
Life Lesson #7: Skip the frozen pretzels and order the clam chowder.

Fashion Board Member, Nordstrom
Life Lesson #8: Walking down the runway in a fashion show really is as fun as it looks on TV.

Barista, Starbucks kiosk inside a grocery store
Life Lesson #9: Never work inside a Starbucks kiosk inside a grocery store ever again.

Admin, UCLA School of Public Health
Life Lesson #10: Stability is nice.

Hostess, Red Lobster
Life Lesson #11: In restaurants, no one really knows how long the wait is, no matter how sure they may sound when they tell you.

Market Researcher, Lieberman Research Worldwide
Life Lesson #12: Someone really does read what you write in those blank boxes on surveys reserved for additional comments.

Jr. Copywriter, Robert Anthony Strategic Marketing
Life Lesson #13: Writing stationery is spelled with an e, not an a.

Marketing Manager, Taos
Life Lesson #14: It’s okay to judge corporate websites that use comic sans.

Marcom Specialist, Coupons.com
Life Lesson #15: Free catered lunches will always be the way to my heart.

How many jobs have you ever had? Which one was your favorite? Which was the worst? Any important life lessons you’d like to share? ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Last modified: January 10, 2019