This is PART II of a two part series. If you are planning on attending a post secondary institution out of school, read the article here.
As I had mentioned in the first article, graduating high school is a big deal. Good on you! Many of you are now at this crossroads where you are not sure which direction to take. Making the decision to attend university is not something that one takes lightly, but with much consideration and research. While I am an advocate for receiving a post secondary education, maybe the timing is not right or you need time to save up.
When I finished high school, I took a few classes at a local university, but was focusing on obtaining a full-time job. This was beneficial to me because I didn’t know the direction I wanted to take in my education at that time. I was struggling between pursuing passions and being realistic with career goals and the desire to provide for a future family. I had been working in the tourism industry for a few years, but wanted to make a transition. This is when I found the retail world.
I worked at Future Shop, the premiere electronic retailer in Canada at the time. For those who know the full, sad tale–the company is no longer…but that’s a story for a different time. At the time, I found myself in an environment where I could make a decent amount of money and take steps to progress in a career. Here are a few principles that I learned:
Learn from your leaders/managers
There is great value in learning from those who are experienced in any industry. Take time to soak it all in and sharpen your skills by watching and taking notes.
Further your education
Whatever industry you end up in, there is going to be an associated unending list of terminology and skills to learn. Use the skills developed in high school and study up. Your success and progression in the workplace will depend on your knowledge and drive in that industry.
It is likely that you will meet many people of prestige within that field. Using the networking tips I have given previously, build beneficial relationships that can help you advance down the road.
Determine what you want from your employment
The likelihood that this first job out of school is where you will work until retirement is slim. Most people transition many times throughout their career. So ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve while I am here?” or “How can this experience prepare me for the future?” If you are just wanting a paycheck or a temporary time filler, know that. If you want to climb the ranks and find career with the company, shoot for the stars!
I look back on those years with fond memories. Some of the greatest friendships I have developed were with those people I spent 40 hours+ a week with. I was also able to save up sufficiently to help pay for university, go on a few trips and have a lot of fun experiences on my time off. I am excited for the opportunity to go back into the workforce after college, with greater knowledge and skills to add to the experience.
Comment below and share your favorite experience in the workforce!