January 17

What are the important takeaways for me from starting to work at a young age?

Neshella Perera

Being the young one at work is not an easy role to take up. It’s all about learning curves, learning to move on from the shortcomings, grasping onto dear life towards deadlines and building experience, not trying to be run over by the big guys, adopting a messed up sleep schedule, prioritising that 5 minutes of sleep and a very rushed outfit for the day and getting lectured on what life is and has to bring (this could either happen in a day or a span of a week, trust me there is no in between). 

Starting from wearing a uniform and opening a lunch box every weekday at 10.30 in the morning, seems like a luxury now. Growing up seeing my parents and others run, bus or drive to work seemed like the dream life and a goal, cause we all thought they go, work on a computer and jabber, but now as it has become a reality, going to school seems like the life to live. 

There is a significant essence to starting work young which encompasses a variety of personal, professional, and developmental aspects.

Starting work at an early age provides immense opportunities to develop essential skills such as communication, teamwork, time management, problem-solving, and adaptability. These skills are very valuable for your professional and personal development.

We all strive for independence and the ability to build the bank and save. Working in your youth allows you to earn your own income which promotes financial independence, however, this depends on many factors such as your spending management, coffee runs, food cravings and mode of transportation. Honestly, sometimes it feels like money just evaporates because it does. 

When you start off working at a young age, you tend to gravitate towards the understanding that making money is tough which helps you understand the value of money, the necessity and prime need for budgeting and financial responsibility.

In the early stages of your career, you get moulded by the people around you, which is why it is important to have the right team of people to surround you and help you develop. If you want to preserve your personality and the time you allocate for work, it is important to consider submitting your CV to a company that is flexible, open-minded and humanistic, if not, you can end up in a situation where work really eats up all of your time and takes the spark out of your youthful days. 90% of employees feel that flexible work arrangements increase morale and motivation, whilst 75% of employees rank workplace flexibility as a top benefit, so enquire from yourself what aspects of a job and company are most important to you.

Early work experiences can serve as a platform for exploring and adventuring toward different industries, roles and career paths. This exploration is crucial for gaining insights into your interests, strengths, and areas for growth, which can ultimately navigate your future career and life choices.

Your contact base and building professional connections early in your career can open doors to future opportunities. Networking with colleagues, supervisors, and mentors can provide valuable insights, advice, and potential references for future job opportunities, although sometimes it may feel like a lecture, take it as a word of advice and a manual for moulding in the future. 

A strong basis of work ethic at a young age sets the foundation for a successful and fulfilling career. Learning the importance of discipline, diligence, reliability, and commitment early on contributes to long-term professional success and an admirable work ethic. 

Working is a challenge of its own, it is more than a handful of experiences that give exposure to diverse perspectives, norms and different cultures. Working at a young age gives exposure and fosters personal growth, resilience, and a broader understanding of the world.

Basically, when you start working your CV or resume defines you. Today in the job market everyone tends to gravitate towards learning and earning. Accumulating work experience early builds a strong and sturdy resume. This is beneficial when applying for future job opportunities because employers tend to value your work history and what you have been behind. 

Timing is a challenge and on most work days it is normal to feel that the 8 hours you go to work are the longest and the hours you sleep are just seconds. Working early allows a person to juggle responsibilities at a young age which can instil good habits throughout your lifetime. 

When you are working you need motivation, because sometimes it feels like you lack security, have a poor work-life balance or you’re just missing out on yourself. When you are exposed to working at a young age you are overcoming obstacles, receiving positive feedback, and achieving goals contributing to a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities.

Working unlocks this unfound energy, bursts of creativity and risk-taking mindset, which enables you to think that you are built differently and invincible. 

It is easy to say that some days are indeed challenging. But some days are better than others, which is what makes working what it is.


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