Everyone remembers their first paying job, whether it involved lifeguarding, starting a lawn-mowing business, delivering papers or bagging groceries, many times during the school-less days of summer. Most people overlook these typically entry-level, often menial, positions as a “means to an end,” a way to pay for fun with friends, higher education or a new car.

What First and Summer Jobs Teach About Business

However, we can learn a lot about our work ethic and true passions when we reflect on our past, seemingly insignificant, work experience. Here are several articles that help us travel down memory road to glean meaning from our first jobs:

Many might reflect on that part time cashier gig as a fun, friendship-building experience, which this article points out, actually applies to most positions, entry-level or otherwise.

First jobs serve as important training ground for teaching us what matters most down the road.

Our first jobs mold us and humble us so we can, one day, lead others with compassion.

Also, no matter the job, you never know who’s watching you or who might give you a glowing recommendation. Sometimes the entry-level positions provide the most opportunity to shine.

First jobs taught us a lot about “what we’re made of” and our work ethic, in a relatively low-risk environment.

As far as job goals, we learned pretty quickly what we didn’t want to be doing.

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