For those of you who’ve been there, pushing through crowds to take an order, picking up clothes strewn all over the dressing room floor, listening to an unhappy customer berate you for something way out of your control; take a deep breath cause it’s not for naught!
Some of us are very familiar to these daily scenes. We have learnt and grown from these part time jobs. Those odd hour shifts, back breaking chores and sore legs from standing the whole day, has given us things of value to take home besides an hourly paid salary.
After working many odd jobs from an admin printer troll (All I did was photocopy papers the entire day at work, for a month!) to a server in a club and many more in between, I can say that the time I spent jumping around these jobs as I slowly assimilate into the idea of a full time job were definitely an eye opener. Through this, I realise that doing part time work has armed me with a short sword and some chain armour to face the workforce dragon. As minute as it is, these little experiences have played a part in preparing me for my future jobs.
So without further ado, I bring to you, the benefits of part-time/odd jobs:
I still remember the day I opened my first champagne bottle when I was working as a server in a club. They usually left the task for the seniors but I felt that it was time for me to join the big boys. It felt like a college fraternity initiation process, my heart was in my throat. However, everything that could go wrong, went wrong - I took off the wire hood and the cork flew off the bottle, leaving a dent in the ceiling as it fell onto another guest’s table. Least to say I CORKed up big time and to make things worse, it was my boss’s champagne… at his table… with his important guests.
It was an experience I’ll never forget. This opportunity has thought me many things besides just corking a champagne bottle (which could prove useful in the future if you are having drinks with an important person!).The biggest thing I learnt or took back from these jobs is empathy for fellow people working in the same work line as we used to. We learn to recognise their hardships and to respect them for their work.
Also, I learnt the humility to serve. Besides meeting the needs of customers, I aim to exceed them. The tone, body-language, questions I ask and small little things I remember (Name & face, favourite drinks etc.), contributes to the entire service experience a customer has. I have been specifically chosen several times to serve customers which made me proud of what I've achieved. The things I learnt then, I apply in my current job when dealing with clients and job seekers, so far so good.
Have you ever had moments as a child when you wonder why your grandma or mother would walk around the market for a whole 10 minutes just to find the best deals around, only to be super elated at the fact they spent 80 cents on 100g of ikan bilis instead of a dollar?
I used to think the 20 cents they saved is not worth the effort she put in, but as I got older, I start to realise the weight behind each cent she spent. Countless times we’ve found ourselves short of a few cents from that bus ride home or having a cup of hot coffee at the kopitiam because you can’t afford the peng. In fact, I've heard friends talking about buying cigarettes from the “Mama” shop just because it costs less, even if it means walking for an extra 10 minutes. It weighs heavier when it comes out from your own pocket. This in turn, teaches us to be thrifty with every single cent we spent, after putting in the blood, sweat and tears into earning them. In the long run, adopting this mind-set can be advantageous if you’re planning to save up as well!
Equipped with experience, having important contacts can leverage you into a very advantageous position career wise. Occasionally, we bump into a few really successful/big people during our part time jobs. It is important to not let such an opportunity go by building a good rapport with every given chance. It definitely pays if they’re a regular as well so it’s easier to leave a lasting impression. If they’re comfortable with you, more often than not, they’d usually ask for your service again.
Besides, who can tell if this customer might be your lao ban in time to come? Not asking you to angkat, just do your best!
Depending on your bosses and the industry you work in, part time jobs can be very flexible as well. Juggling a few commitments at once can be daunting but it also teaches you to be more organised. It’ll take some time getting used to a new routine/lifestyle.
Jumping through different kinds of jobs, we take up different and new responsibilities each time. It is inevitable that there'll be a few hiccups here and there but we grow by learning from our mistakes and reminding ourselves to avoid them in future. Sometimes, we find ourselves shouldering more than what we're paid for. This may be due to your superb work performance or your boss is just a prick but either way, with more responsibilities, the faster we learn. I also took back a few handy business "lessons" through the hiccups and success of the company I work at.
It may be tough at the start but just heed these wise words from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “Embrace the grind, lower your shoulder and keep driving through that m*****f*****. Change will come.”
Of course, the main benefit and reason why any of us work in the first place – TO GET DEM MONIES! We all have our humble beginnings, the feeling we get when we receive our first pay check. The freedom to spend it on anything and the realisation that money has the magical ability to just disappear in an instant. The fruits from a month of labour - some spend them in a week, some decide to save, some may even choose to invest whatever they have in hopes for better returns in the future. Whatever we choose, we all know the satisfaction and the pain to earn an income, let alone sustain it.
With that being said, part-time jobs are a good temporary solution for your monetary needs or if you’re unemployed. Getting paid to learn a skill or two is definitely worth the time. Besides, there is a possibility that you may find the job of your dreams through your temporary employment. So keep on grindin’ peeps!