Learn something new from each job

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Learn something new from each job

Darian Dorsey, Pierre Mantienzo, and Zach Deliberto making pizza at Mia Za's on Green Street on Dec. 1, 2017. Restaurants on Green Street like Mia Za's are popular spots for students to find work on campus.

Darian Dorsey, Pierre Mantienzo, and Zach Deliberto making pizza at Mia Za's on Green Street on Dec. 1, 2017. Restaurants on Green Street like Mia Za's are popular spots for students to find work on campus.

Ben Tschetter

Darian Dorsey, Pierre Mantienzo, and Zach Deliberto making pizza at Mia Za's on Green Street on Dec. 1, 2017. Restaurants on Green Street like Mia Za's are popular spots for students to find work on campus.

Ben Tschetter

Ben Tschetter

Darian Dorsey, Pierre Mantienzo, and Zach Deliberto making pizza at Mia Za's on Green Street on Dec. 1, 2017. Restaurants on Green Street like Mia Za's are popular spots for students to find work on campus.

By Yoav Margalit, Staff Writer

When we’re small, we look to what bigger people do with a bit of awe. We see people demonstrating how they do their job, and we ask ourselves, “When did they learn how to do something so complicated, so well?”

Then we grow up and realize that there is no secret; we learn to be better, more productive people just as a function of having lived our lives. What determines our specialty is a combination of what we know and what we want to do.

When confronted with this sort of realization while faced with having to find a job that works with what we bring to the table, it can be difficult to come to terms with a lack of experience. Sometimes, the best way to start is to do it small; there’s nothing wrong with testing the waters in a coffee shop, bookstore, or anywhere else.

Job experience is valued for a reason. It demonstrates to an employer that the potential employee knows what they’re in for. Students don’t need to start out with their dream job. Getting to that perfect career means learning which parts of each job resonate and which parts don’t.

A job at a coffee shop might result in the discovery that running a machine skillfully is a strength, or that talking to customers is a talent. Working at the library can let an unused memory for where things are placed to come in handy. The opportunities for learning are almost limitless, but show how much is gained depending on one’s adopted mindset.

An open mind that values the opportunity to learn will quickly realize that each job has more to offer than just its most obvious mechanics. Instead, the work allows learning and helps us see what makes us feel fulfilled and what doesn’t.

Maybe an affinity for bookkeeping at one job exposes a skill at accounting, or maybe the empathy found in dealing with bedraggled customers at another job reveals an aptitude for social work. It’s only through putting ourselves out there, again and again, that we get to understand parts of ourselves that wouldn’t have been visible otherwise.

Necessity is the mother of innovation. Getting a job might not be easy or fun, but by taking it one step at a time, we can figure out what career fits our personalities and talents best. The advice to ‘keep on keeping on’ is never easy to take, but when looking for the right job, it’s one of the best pieces of advice one can follow.

Yoav is a junior in LAS.

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