Balancing act: Daughter looks forward to lessons of first 'real' job

Published: Tuesday, June 24 2014 7:30 a.m. MDT

"For strengths, I said I was hardworking, a quick learner, personable," my daughter said. "For weaknesses, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to say. So I said I get stressed out pretty easily. She asked how I dealt with stress, and I said I channel it into what I'm working on."

Ah, the old "strengths and weaknesses" question. Always a tough one to answer.

But my daughter survived the interview, and she said it wasn't nearly as scary as she thought it would be. Even better, the manager hired her on the spot.

Now she's excited to get to work.

"I'm also nervous, because I feel like I'm going to drop a jug of mayonnaise, and it will explode all over, and then they'll fire me," she said. "I'm nervous about messing up.

"I'm a quick learner, so I'm not too nervous about learning what I need to do. I am a little nervous about dealing with actual customers who come in and order quickly. All the people I've dealt with before were parents of piano students or parents of kids I was watching, so they were all really nice."

Again, she seems to have accurately identified the jitters all of us feel as we prepare to start a new job.

Despite her anxiety, my daughter is ready to earn some money and gain work experience. She's also hoping the job will help her learn to be more independent and to manage her finances.

"I don't have bills yet, so all of the money I have I could potentially just spend," she said, adding that she wants to get better at saving, instead.

"That will help when I actually have bills to pay."

There's that wisdom again.

She really is an outstanding person, a wonderful example to our younger children (and the rest of our family) and the best daughter a father could want. I can't wait to hear about her first days at work, and I hope this experience will help her develop habits that will serve her well in other jobs in the years to come.

I'll follow-up with another column in a few weeks and let you know whether the reality of this first job matches her expectations.

In the meantime, I'd like to hear from you. What was your first "real" job? Did you learn any good (or bad) habits from it that influenced your future work life? How did your first jobs as a teenager help you decide what you wanted to be as an adult? And what advice would you give to my daughter as she enters the working world?

Send me a message with your ideas, and I'll share some of them in a future column.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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