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The Hidden Perks of a Part-Time Job

Part-time jobs bring you so much more than money!

My first part-time job (alongside my paper round), aged 13, was cleaning the oil out underneath some factory machines…which makes me sound like I was born in Victorian times!

I left this job after a few months and started at the village garage serving the petrol. The picture is of me aged about 17 with the owner and the mechanic, wearing my favourite Bauhaus t shirt (Bau-who?? Check them out - Bela Lugosi’s Dead was my favourite track and still sounds great today).

Now this was so long ago that self-service wasn’t really a thing at petrol stations, and if you wanted petrol in your car you had to wait for me to serve you! I was also expected to offer to check the customers’ oil levels, offer to check their tyres were at the right pressure and clean their windscreen and if you were the next customer, you would have to wait patiently until that was all done.

Time must have moved at a slower tortoise pace back in the late 70s/early 80s!

I loved my part-time job and looked forward every week to spending my wages (40p an hour 😳) on records, clothes and going to local gigs.

Now, I didn’t see my career developing in the garage forecourt world, but that wasn’t the point - I had my own money, and I was learning a tonne of things that I had absolutely no idea would be really helpful:

💪 A great work ethic

🗣️ Talking to new people

👂 Listening to customers

📞 Answering the phone

🧮 Working out invoices for the mechanics

🧹 Keeping the work area clean

😊 Customer Service

😬 Managing Mistakes

✅ Being Dependable

Whilst I came to realise that they were all super-helpful to me, I think “Talking to new people” was really a really significant skill to learn.

If you don’t have a part-time job, or belong to some sort of club, it’s entirely possible the only adults you talk to are your parents and your teachers, both of which you’re probably fighting against!

Follow us on Instagram for tips on getting a part-time job (@mygreatfirstjob).


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