Here’s a wonderful high school essay assignment – write about how you spent the summer and if you actually learned anything from it! While I wrote that I gained some great life experience, I don’t think I took any of these lessons to heart until I was an adult.
Lifelong Lessons Learned From a Summer Job
Last Summer I learned values of discipline, responsibility, and a trade while on a cement construction job. The job was with my father’s company, so I had to prove capable of the work. I didn’t want favoritism from my father either. I really had to earn my keep.
The responsibilities came early in the morning, sometimes before 5 a.m. Sometimes I had to get up early because we had incredible amounts of work on particular days. I scoffed at rising early one night in my first week of work. At 1 a.m. I was still awake, fully aware that at 4:30 a.m. we had to leave to complete a large driveway. I was dead on my feet, but I still worked as hard as I could. This taught me the quality of work goes down when employees burn the candle at both ends. When I started to go to bed earlier, I felt more relaxed and the work seemed easier. That was just one way I became more disciplined.
Hot days were a good test of my will because I had to resist the temptation to complain, or whine to my father. On one such occasion, he left me alone on a job. I was left with a wallish mass of cement blocks, a wheelbarrow, and 90 degree heat. My task was to load the wheelbarrow with the blocks and wheel it about fifty yards to the street curb. I worked hard and completed most of the job before my father returned. He gave me a compliment which gave me a good feeling of responsibility.
A large aspect of the job was getting along with my co-workers. We had to know each other’s actions before they happened. That may sound strange, but it was a tremendous factor in doing a quality job. I felt that by the end of the summer we worked together extremely well. We had our differences early on, mostly because I thought I was privileged. I quickly learned to handle myself, and act more mature.
Maturity showed the customers that I wouldn’t just fool around and ruin their job. The customer also found that our company took the time to care about the job and not just personal monetary goals. My father passed some words of wisdom on to me. He said, “The customer is the most important part of our business. Without the customer, we would not own this company.” It made me realize what every type of work is about.
Finally, I learned a trade and some very important values that will have an effect on me for life. The experience was well worth it!
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