Photo by Hillary Ehlen
Featured photo: Casey Glandt and Casey McCullough, once friendly competitors, are merging their companies: Go Promo and Green Street Promotions. Thanks to Larry at Great Northern Bicycle for the use of his tandem bike for this photo!
Your first job. For some, it may have been fun and carefree. For others, it may simply have been a way to get some cash in your pocket. Whether you enjoyed your first job or not, it was likely the cornerstone of your career. This is where we got our first glimpse of the real world, learned how to manage money and maybe even decided what we wanted to do when we grew up and got “real jobs.”
In the following sections, join us and we hear from local business owners and leaders who share the lessons they learned at their first jobs. These fun and insightful reflections inspired us to delve deeper into the recruitment process.
First Job: Forum News Carrier in Valley City, N.D.
Current Job: Owner & General Manager, Go Promo/Green Street Promotions
10 Lessons I Learned:
1. Discipline and timeliness: If I overslept, my customers let me know.
2. Early bird gets the worm: I was making over $200 a month in 1994 as a 14 year old, all before most friends were out of bed.
3. Customers notice the little things: Some customers liked their paper in their door, some in mailbox, some by backdoor, some in mail slot.
4. Responsibility: If I was unavailable/out of town, I had to find a dependable sub to do my route.
5. Appreciation for journalism: After I finished my route, I would read the paper as I ate breakfast.
6. Weather the storm: Rain, sleet, snow…it didn’t matter. The job had to be done.
7. Efficiency: Riding my bike compared to walking the route got me about 10-15 minutes of extra sleep in the morning.
8. Teamwork: On Sundays, my dad would help me insert the comics into the papers and drive me around as I ran up to the houses.
9. Relationship building: I met a lot of neighbors through this job.
10. Financial Responsibility/Bill Collections: Back then, news carriers were required to collect fees every month from their customers.
First Job: Paperboy in Hope, N.D.
Current Job: Owner & VP of Account Development, Go Promo/Green Street Promotions
10 Lessons I Learned:
1. Deliver great customer service. Customers notice the little things, so go the extra mile. Some customers wanted their paper put inside a porch, others wanted it between two doors, others wanted it hand delivered to them.
2. Efficiency is very important. I would find new routes and strategize how to get the paper route done faster and faster.
3. Learn how to manage your duties and yourself. I was in charge of selling new subscriptions and collecting payments. If I didn’t sell and collect, I didn’t get paid.
4. Excuses will not work. No matter the weather, I was always impressed that the Forum would somehow get the papers to Hope.
5. Prioritization is key. I would sit in the city hall stuffing the comics into the news section, they were separated at the time, for the first half hour. Then I would deliver to the people I knew would be the earliest risers to get them squared away first.
6. Take responsibility for filling your shifts if need be. If I was out of town, I needed to find someone to fill in and compensate them appropriately.
7. How to work with the public. I learned how to work with multiple personalities to understand their problems and deliver a quick fix.
8. Stay on top of bookkeeping. Some clients would pay three to four months at a time, others would pay each month. Staying on top of this, meant keeping the books organized and up to date.
9. Work can be fun! I’d have a blast cranking my radio and jamming out along the way. Anyone in Hope could hear the latest 90’s tunes blaring from my ’85 LTD Crown Victoria.
10. Help others when they help you. I used to cut hair in school. I knew three styles: the full buzz, the bowl and the mohawk. I would use this as a way to convince others to help me with a route from time to time. I’d buzz them up at night and in the morning they would ride with, deliver, stuff comic sections and get it done as a team.
Casey Glandt and Casey McCullough, once friendly competitors, are merging their companies: Go Promo and Green Street Promotions. Thanks to Larry at Great Northern Bicycle for the use of his tandem bike for this photo!