1. Our neighborhood lawn mowing job taught us the benefits of being our own boss.
Don’t let anyone interrupt your flow.
2. Valet parking taught us that most people are very trusting.
The fact that people are willing to give clueless teenagers their cars says a lot about the human capacity for both trust and willful ignorance.
3. Lifeguarding taught us how to look cool in the face of stress.
The constant possibility of having to save someone’s life is seriously nerve-wracking business, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the tan and fit gods who calmly watch over us all summer.
4. Dog walking taught us that people follow instructions much better than dogs.
If you can keep twelve dogs walking in the same direction, you can pretty much handle anything.
5. Being a camp counselor taught us how to withstand awful karaoke.
Singing the same terrible camp songs all summer wasn’t easy, but it hardened our ears to our friends’ screaming karaoke medleys. Search “Boom Chicka Boom” on YouTube for some cringe-inducing camp memories.
6. Babysitting taught us that most adults are pretty boring.
Children are prone to say or do hilarious things at every moment. Adults, on the other hand, mostly do the same predictable things every day.
7. Being a hotel bellman taught us how far we can get with just a smile.
Insider tip: Bellmen have the cushiest jobs of all the service positions. You get to hang out and chat with the other bellmen until someone gives you $5 for taking a couple bags to a room.
8. Working at Starbucks taught us to be OCD about our coffee.
Bad coffee will not stand! A summer at Starbucks will make you forever finicky about the coffee you serve at home. You also may learn the Frapuccino® secret menu.
9. Working at a movie theater taught us that all free movies are good movies.
There was something magical about getting in to work early and sitting in an empty, air-conditioned theater to watch Austin Powers: Goldmember. The perks of working at a movie theater also make it super painful to shell out $15 for bad movies today.
10. Signature gathering for political causes taught us not to be afraid of “no” for an answer.
If you can overcome the intense awkwardness of approaching complete strangers to ask for signatures, you can definitely ask your boss for a raise or ask a stranger out on a date.
11. Being a golf caddie taught us how to impress our superiors.
Being able to carry on a meaningless conversation with old rich men is a valuable skill in corporate America.
12. Our job as an ice cream scooper taught us… Um, about the perils of eating too much ice cream.
There is such a thing as having too much ice cream and this is an important lesson to learn early in life.
13. Working as an office assistant taught us that cubicles can kill your soul.
Avoid office work as long as you can! Unless it’s something that will make a major impact on your career, it’s always better to work at a fun, active job either outdoors or with a lot of personal interaction.