Photo by Hillary Ehlen
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: Stock person/cashier, Pamida, Red Wing, Minn.
Current Job: VP of Operation, ImmunoPrecise
ImmunoPrecise Antibodies (IPA) is a full-service, therapeutic antibody discovery CRO (contract research organization) with US headquarters located in Fargo, ND. The services we offer assist pharmaceutical and biotech researchers worldwide in identifying and developing antibody drugs for a variety of disease conditions, including cancer. Find out more at immunoprecise.com.
10 Lessons I Learned…
1. You don’t get praise for being on time and doing your job.
2. Hearing “thank you” from a manager or team lead was nice to hear, but I had to earn those two words.
3. Bad managers can teach you valuable lessons, too.
4. Don’t take it personally when someone yells at you; they may be having a lousy day and you’re an easy target. Be a bigger person.
5. Communication skills are critical to customer and co-worker satisfaction. You’re constantly talking to people so I quickly developed effective communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.
6. Your smile and calm voice can brighten someone’s day, defuse a contentious situation and help make others around you happier.
7. Be a helper. Be there to help out and support your co-workers and customers (I still define myself as a helper).
8. Celebrate success. We had some really big sales events where we worked between 12-18 hours a day. When they were all done, employees had a little celebration if we hit sales goals.
9. How to manage financial information, like how we marked up and the profit margin we needed to maintain per item sold.
10. You’re not always right, so be humble enough to not try to be.