I was in the warehouse the other day and remembered back to when I worked for them in Hamilton at age 18. And when I walk into New World, I remember the year and a half I spent working for them back when I was 16. I talk to my sister about McDonalds where she works now and tell her about the year and a half I also worked there when I was 15. I’ve also worked in clothing stores as an assistant. I’ve worked in a call centre as a representative and I’ve worked as a Manager at a night club for two and a half years as well as two different HR roles. 

I’ve worked in a lot of jobs, in a range of different industries, serving very different customers. I think back to all the things I’ve done and all the things I’ve learned and I’m happy I did every single one. My CV today doesn’t have every job I’ve done in detail anymore, but does list all of those job titles and company names back to when I was 15. Most of the job changes I’ve had to make were because they couldn’t accommodate around my university schedule, but in every case, the experience has been invaluable. Starting a new job is exciting and daunting but the resilience, determination and smarts you need to have is paramount to impress, learn and develop into a new role. These skills have become my favourite and best used skills over the years and the ones I’ve always used to impress new managers. 

I think about my random jobs a lot and everyday I’m grateful. They have led me to HR, a profession about people, employment, organisation and planning. I believe I bring a lot of experience of job changes, resilience, learning and development and it has helped grow me into a trusted and smart HR professional. I’ve talked to people who worry about all the jobs they have had and how that might look, but at the end of the day, every job you have had has taught you at least a few things. Like; adapting to a new environment and job description, how to be resilient and to push through when starting out as a newbie and it has taught you how to be open for development and learning. Those three things can be the make or break of taking on and pushing through a new role. They have been the three things I have used in every job I have had and every job I have succeeded in.

I’ve also talked to people who are worried that the job they are in isn’t giving them anything. So I tell them, every job gives you something. It may not be that it is your dream job, or a job that particularly relates to your career, but nevertheless, it is teaching you something. It may be developing your communication skills, your relationship management, how you learn in different situations and how you develop and use what you are learning in the current role to apply to your overall career thinking and planning. So don’t think of any job as a waste of time, if anything, it is confirming to you what you don’t want to do and pushes you to look for what you do want to do.

Don’t be afraid to love the jobs you came from, the crappy ones, the easy ones, the lame ones. They all mould you into the professional you are today and they are the ones you most often use in your stories to help other people. 

HR Workaholic!

 August 30, 2010