I got my first “official” summer job when I was 14 years old. My brothers were 13 and 12, and together we started working for our local 4-H club for a summer program. We had worked before, volunteering at our school and church – but this was the first job we would actually be paid for. Needless to say, we were excited.
Our main responsibility was to tend to a local community garden. We picked fruits and vegetables so that they could be sold, and created beautiful flower arrangements. We planted new crops, and watered what was already in the ground (and eachother).
We had meetings every morning, along with time for writing down our goals and aspirations in a little notebook that they gave us. I don’t remember the meetings much, because I was busy laughing and joking with my brothers and those we’d made friends with.
We also visited and volunteered at a special needs home quite often, and on Thursdays we got to ride horses! It was completely new to me, and I will never forget the stories and the laughter during my time at the ranch.
We got paid a whopping $52.50 every two weeks. It doesn’t seem like much now, but to us it was a whole lot. I remember my brothers and I getting paid for the first time and asking our Mom to take us to the mall because we had some shopping to do. Of course we put some into savings and gave offerings at church, but boy did we enjoy spending the rest! Those were good times.
I’m not gonna lie, during my first summer job I spend a lot of time clowning around and getting into trouble. I was working with my brothers who are also some of my best friends, and I also made new friends, so how could we not have a little fun? In the middle of my fun, I enjoyed my first paid job experience, and I learned a lot about teamwork, respect, and being open to learning new experiences – like horseback riding. I also learned what happens when you microwave a twinkie…..don’t ask, but it’s a hilarious story!
I went on to have other summer jobs as a teen, all of which taught me valuable lessons that I still need today as an adult. If you’re planning on working this summer, I hope that you have a meaningful experience, a little bit of fun, and of course – some money too!
I’ll be posting summer job ideas soon, so keep watching. If you’ve had a summer job, what was your first experience like?