Question: What industry ushered you into the workforce? Describe your first work experience. How long did you last?
My first job as was as a credit card telemarketer for $9/hour. It seemed like a good job at first. The training also seemed very decent. Then shortly after things started to change quickly. It was the Easter long weekend coming up, and they were offering overtime for I think it was Good Friday but it was for a different bank, and credit product, with a different script and a much different “terminal” interface.
Just as an aside, most people called them DOS screens just because it was all keyboard operated and text-based. Some people are just totally wrong, and non-technical.
Getting back on track, after the weekend ended there was a push on leads for this other bank and since I had done it for a day I was kept on the new campaign and was expected to have results on the leads with out the proper training on the program, just three sheets of paper. To make it worse, just as soon as I was catching on, I got thrown back and forth between the two very different credit card products.
After 7 weeks, there was a presentation that I wanted to go see at council, it was the operating budget of Saint John Transit. I went to work because I felt I had an obligation to the job, but then I had the worst customer ever, and a very un-supportive supervisor. So I signed out for my first break, left my key card next to the keyboard, and went to council. I never returned.
From this job, I learned two very important lessons. Sometimes, you have to take the initiative to learn on your own that you need to know to excel at a job. This is something the has been very critical to a few of the jobs I have had. Before I worked as a graphic designer at Johnny’s Coupons I had never used CorelDraw ever. In my current job, everything changes everyday and there is a steep and very broad knowledge involved, not attempting to learn on my own would result in me not getting as far as I have.
The second lesson was when an opportunity arises jump on it. Taking risks is a necessary skill to advance. This came true again about three and a half years ago. I was asked “Do you want to work on a six-week contingency project?” If I missed that opportunity to say yes, the last few years would be incredibly difficult.