Ah, first jobs. Love them or hate them, it’s an experience that almost all of us will have at one time in our lives. They’re invaluable, not just because we earn money, but because there are things you just can’t learn about working unless you’re doing it.

In case you’ve forgotten (or you’re wondering why your teenager should get into the workforce!) read through these 15 memories of lessons learned.

#15. Be your own advocate.

“Your boss is looking out for himself and will throw you under the bus to cover his own ass. You need to be your own advocate.”

#14. Wear good shoes.

“To wear good shoes. My feet are screwed for life as a result of that job.”

#13. Taco Bell bathrooms.

“People do strange things in Taco Bell bathrooms.”

#12. On coworkers.

“Don’t let your coworkers push their job duties on to you so they can slack off. I worked a job where it was just me and one other coworker we each had our own job duties and he would take four hour long breaks to go home and smoke weed and nap and when he’d come back he’d finish up his work. I use to let that slide because while I was at work I would just be on my phone watching movies after I finished my responsibilities eventually while he was at home he’d ask me to do his jobs and when he came back he’d just stand around and do nothing since everything was done, it was a chill job but fuck doing two peoples job and letting someone get paid for doing nothing.”

#11. Be nice.

“Be nice to the person at the counter/register/drive thru.”

#10. Things no one thinks to tell you.

“If you are allowed to. Always shit during work hours.

*Edit call centres also don’t pay you for your time taking a shit.”

#9. On customer service.

“The nicer you are to assholes, the angrier they get, and the more fun you have!”

#8. Always look busy.

“Got time to lean you got time to clean Always look busy.”

#7. It’s about you.

“When your boss gives you constructive criticism don’t reply by mentioning that others do similar things but the boss is presumably okay with it. The criticism isn’t about them it’s about you.”

#6. First impressions last.

“You’re expendable and first impressions last.”

#5. Alert anyone.

“Behind you”

Alert anyone you’re approaching from behind, especially if either of you is carrying something.”

#4. On rewards.

“The reward for a job well done, is more work.”

#3. You won’t see any extra money.

“Never let on if you aren’t busy. And never ask for more work if there is no benefit to you. You’ll get more than you can handle and won’t see any extra money. Learn to work efficiently, but mostly manage your own time. Help co-workers if it’s a two-way street. Common thread: people will take advantage of you. Always be wary. But having your peers’ backs (if it goes both ways) can be the only way to get through the day.”

#2. Manage expectations.


Are you going to hand something in late? Off-scope? Early? Talk to all the known stakeholders in advance and communicate this to them. Manage the awareness of the people around you with respect to what they are expecting from you.

When you start your first job, you’re so scared of being less than perfect that you don’t realize everyone is less than perfect and they know you’ll make mistakes. What your boss and coworkers need more than you to be perfect is to be open and clear with them so they have the proper info to make decisions as things change and report to their people in turn.

People are FAR more willing to work with you to fix things than be blindsided at the 11th hour. The reason everyone around you seems to be doing their job perfectly is that they’re managing expectations so well that whatever they produce is always exactly what people are expecting from them and are prepared to receive, regardless of what may have initially been asked of them.

Edit: a spelling.”

#1. Use boredom to your advantage.

“Forst full time job: Use your down time to learn new skills. I learned so many new things about the internal systems, excel access etc that I eventually found my profession.

Essentially: Use boredom to your advantage.”