The Two Jobs Every Millennial Should Have

Hint: They’re probably not what you think.

Yesterday I touched on some of the fears I had about joining the adult world. That is one of the many reasons I have elected to take a service year instead of jumping right into corporate America. Though it will be my first post college job, it is not my first job.

I started my first summer job when I was fifteen years old, and I’ve been working ever since. Over the last six years I held a variety of summer and year-round jobs including; coaching, lifeguarding, and two internships.

Without a doubt there are two jobs that have done the most to prepare me for the real world. Whenever I do decide to join it.

From them I have learned a variety of hard and soft skills that will make me a more successful employee and person.

They are….. childcare and retail.


The bulk of my childcare experience came in the form of two years as a summer camp counselor. I was the head counselor a sports camp, and boy was it challenging.

Every week I had anywhere from six to twenty hyper-active kids who were always looking for the next thing to keep them entertained. Factor in a heavy dose of southern heat, and sometimes life was a little maddening.

Yet, it was a valuable experience.

Everyone should work with kids, to find out if you want to have them or not. Children can be difficult and not everyone is cut out for parenthood. Luckily, it is getting more acceptable for people to forgo having kids.

Another reason to work with kids is that it will teach you patience.

You can’t yell at most kids. You can’t leave a kid behind when they walk really slow and refuse to keep up with the group. You absolutely can’t tell them what you think of their artwork, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Sometimes in life you just have to be patient. Working with kids will teach you that.


If childcare teaches you how to work with kids, retail teaches you how to work with adults that act like kids.

Between the stubbornness, the meanness, and the public tantrums; adults can be indistinguishable from children. This is especially true during a rush.

No matter what kind of retail you were in, you will have experienced a rush. As difficult as they are, rushes can be great teaching moments. You’ll get really good at being calm under pressure. You’ll also learn to work as a team as you all suffer through it together.

Finally, retail will teach you one of life’s most important skills; sales.

No matter what line of work you are interested in pursuing you will have to make a sale at some point. Whether it’s selling yourself during an interview or selling your company to a potential client, selling is an important skill to have.

I believe you can learn something from every job. Even if it’s just learning what you don’t want in a job. However, I think some jobs are going to prepare you for the real world better than others.

To paraphrase Animal Farm “All jobs are equal, but some jobs are more equal than others.”

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