Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

More than just a job

Seven years ago, as a new immigrant, I found myself working two jobs: cleaning computer equipment in a warehouse, and opening mail. Neither job was my career choice, but I needed the money.

Today, I’m less than a year away from launching full-time into my chosen career as a high school math teacher. Nevertheless, I have no regrets about the different jobs I’ve done on my way to this point because I’ve learned some valuable lessons from my experience. I’ll share some now.

Firstly, no job is just a job. It’s an opportunity to gain experience in working with people and sometimes in uncomfortable settings. Each job is an opportunity to evaluate what you want to do, or what you definitely will not do.

While in high school, I had decided to be a physician, until I took a job teaching high school. Within a semester, I realized that I’m better at teaching, and I like teaching more than medicine.

Secondly, a job is only as bad as the person doing it. Do good work, even if the job itself sucks, go above and beyond the call of duty. If your job is to take orders at Taco Bell, mop the floor if it gets messy, even if it’s not your assignment. When your boss writes a letter of recommendation for a management position, he or she will think of your efforts to improve your work environment.

Along the same line, don’t complain about your job. If you don’t like it, quit. If you can’t quit, find the good things about the job and talk about them. You never know who will notice your enthusiasm. Remember, people prefer to work with completers rather than complainers.

Thirdly, every job contributes to your career. Seek to learn as much as possible on the job. Especially notice those people who tend to get along with everyone or who are respected by all. Their skills and attitudes are usually transferable, so it will do you well to learn the skills and pattern the attitudes. Remember, the difference between job security and employment security lies with the person, not the job.

Fourthly, do what you love, but make sure you can live off the income. There are enough homeless artists and miserable engineers in the world. In the same vein, be adventurous, work with creative people, and explore multiple options. Before you can do what you love, you may have to do a lot of other things.

Finally, always remember that people are more important than things, and principles supercede all. You can get anything you want if you help enough people get what they want. Never sacrifice people for personal success. Every person is important, and has a place in the world. More importantly, never discard principles for prosperity or prestige. The price is too great.

For those who don’t know what they want to do, maybe you should work at a few different jobs before you chose a major. It may end up saving you money, time and frustration. For more help, check out FAU’s career counseling center in the Student Services building.

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