Friday, September 5, 2008

First Jobs: They Can Be Your Entry Door Into Success

Harvey Mackay always includes Mackay’s Moral at the end of his weekly column. And his morals are always good. Yet his moral this week really spoke to what I believe:

Mackay’s Moral: What you learn on your first job will last through your last job.

If you pay attention to what goes on around you even if you have the most menial job in the company or organization, you can learn a great deal. There are all kinds of “lessons” being unconsciously taught.

Mackay describes a job he had as a teen working at a men’s retail store. One of the things his boss taught was: “Walk the customer to the front door and sometimes even out onto the street and look him in the eye and say “Thanks!’”

Less than two hours after I read this piece of advice I was walked to the door by the receptionist of a local restaurant at which I often eat. Because I had just read Mackay’s column, I took special notice of this courtesy on the part of the receptionist.

Now even if you were a busboy at this restaurant, if you had observed the receptionist’s behavior you would have learned a valuable lesson for life: Do not treat your customers or clients as if they are interchangeable commodities. Instead make each one feel that he or she is special in your eyes.

If you act this way towards customers and clients even when you have a menial job, you might be surprised to learn that your advancement is more rapid than others who don’t act this way.

Keep your eyes and ears paying attention no matter where you are – you can learn from almost anyone and anything.

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