What was your first job?
My 16 year old son was a sailing instructor this summer. He learned a lot about working with children, parents, bosses, and coaching peers. It was a tough first job. He liked working with the kids. Things were good with his boss but working with other counselors was challenging.
What lessons did summer jobs teach you?
My first summer job was working in a pharmacy a long time ago, but I am now recalling some of the basic lessons from my son working. He is punctual. He likes a plan. He needs to know what he is supposed to be doing as well as what others should be. On-the-flipside, his feelings were hurt when peers snubbed him because he was sticking to the plan. Sometimes, peers complained he was no fun. He is a stickler for things being fair, and as you age, you realize things often aren’t fair. Sometimes you carry more than your fair share.
What are the fruits of summer labor?
My son is saving for a car. He’s also paying for a better phone plan. He’s trying to put away money for gas in the winter. He wanted to buy Air-pods, but they’re out of his price range. If I asked him what was best about his work, I bet he would say, “the money.”
Building a work ethic
What I learned from my son’s summer job was about him. I was so proud to see he can see the difference between work and obligation versus fun and diversion. I am proud that he has the self-control to save. Most of all, I am proud that his self-control grew entirely out of his own goals. I would like to say I instilled some commitment to saving, but I think really, what makes people plan and save are their intrinsic values and goals. We are all in some respects self-made.
Applying a life lesson
I am trying to nurture a bit of my son’s work ethic in myself. My kids joke that I’m always late. Yes, I admit it! I don’t know how it happens, but I want to be more punctual. I get up early, but by 6 am the to-do list is already piling up. Also, I am taking a good look at why I save, which is a little easier to do.
Are you saving for a goal?