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Balancing act: First 'real' job teaches lessons, offers a few surprises

Published: Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:30 a.m. MDT

In fact, working with good people has been one of her favorite parts of the job. That makes perfect sense to me. Co-workers and managers have had a huge influence on how much I like various jobs. I've been lucky in this regard throughout my career, and I hope my daughter has similar good fortune.

I'm also glad her job has solidified her love of working hard.

"I really enjoy that it keeps you busy for most of the time," she said. "If you don't have any people there, there's always something you can be doing to help get ready for the next day, or to clean. ...

"On the 24th of July, we were really slow, so we got everything done and had nothing to do. That was the worst. So probably I'll want to keep looking for (jobs) that will keep me occupied, where there will always be something to do and for a good purpose."

That's a great lesson to learn, I think. My favorite jobs have also been those that kept me hopping, and it's always, always better to be busy than bored.

My daughter also mentioned when starting this job that she was hoping to gain more independence and improve her money-management skills, and her excitement when she received her first paycheck was fun to see.

She immediately planned how she was going to handle that check, indicating how much would be set aside for a contribution to our church, how much she would need to pay back money she owed us, how much she would keep out for spending and how much she would put in a savings account.

"I think already that I've become better acquainted with getting large amounts of money at a time and dealing with those," she said.

She followed through on her plan as intended. And, to reward herself and take advantage of one of the first times we let her drive on her own, she stopped after work one day last week to buy herself a smoothie with her own money. I'll always remember seeing the smile on her face as she parked the car back at home. She looked like she was taking her first steps into adulthood and thoroughly enjoying them.

I'm sure I'll always think of her as the curly haired little girl who had me wrapped around her finger from the moment she was born. But I also can't wait to see what she accomplishes as she continues learning and growing, both at work and in life.

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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