My first official job, when I was 13, was being a holiday gift wrapper at H.L. Hodges Sporting Goods in downtown Greenville.
Wrapping gifts may seem like an easy way to slide into the world of work, right? Not at a sporting goods store.
Using the only resources at hand -- rolls of thin paper, scissors, tape and slick ribbon -- I had to figure out how to decoratively conceal cans of tennis balls, fishing rods, shotguns, even an assembled exercise bike.
I loved it!
Each time a customer brought over a gift to be wrapped, I was given a present, too. I was formulating my personal work ethic.
I was required to think on my feet, be neat, conserve resources, be creative, be quick but thorough, be artistic and keep a smile on my face no matter what I had to handle.
Then, at the end of the week, I was handed money that I could spend however I wanted. It was more than compensation for a job well done, it was a ticket on the independence train.
My gift-wrapping job unwrapped my potential.
What lessons did your first job teach you? Please share them in the comments section.