Great First Jobs

u s dollar bills pin down on the ground
Photo by Pixabay on

Your first job will make you money, but it’s also the start of building your work experiences and resume. Think of your first jobs as an exploration: try different roles and take note of what specifically you like and don’t like.

My first job was babysitting and I continued to babysit on and off for 8 years.  I was trusted by parents to enforce the house rules, keep the kids safe and the house tidy. I genuinely enjoyed playing with the kids. The schedule fits great for after-school, nights and weekends. Other jobs I had were working at a nature center, Ikea’s Swede Shop,  restaurant hostess, daycare worker, waitress and landscaper. The independence that comes with making your own money allowed me to buy my own clothes, pay for movie night out with friends and fund school books.

When looking for a first job, look for one that does not require formal skills and experience. Many employers will train you. The peak season for hiring is the summer and winter holidays. Use job sites, like or and search for job titles you’re interested in and terms like “no experience” and “no previous experience needed”.

Here are some great first jobs to consider:*

  1. Activities Assistant
  2. Amusement Ride Attendant
  3. Babysitter or Mother’s Helper
  4. Barista
  5. Baseball Umpire or Referee for Little League or Juniors
  6. Busser
  7. Camp Counselor or Camp Counselor in Training
  8. Car Wash Attendant
  9. Cashier
  10. Child Care Assistant
  11. Cleaner
  12. Counter Worker – Food Service
  13. Customer Service
  14. Dishwasher
  15. Dog Walker
  16. Farmhand
  17. Fast Food Worker
  18. Food Prep and Food Server
  19. Golf Caddy
  20. Greeter
  21. Grocery Bagger or Clerk
  22. Household Chores
  23. Ice Cream Shop
  24. Kennel Assistant
  25. Landscaper
  26. Lawn Mower
  27. Lifeguard
  28. Music Reviews
  29. Music Teacher for Young Children
  30. Nursery Worker
  31. Packing and Moving
  32. Paper Delivery Person
  33. Pet Sitter
  34. Pizza Parlor
  35. Proofreader
  36. Receptionist
  37. Restaurant Hostess/Host
  38. Retail Store Sales Clerk
  39. Sports Coach
  40. Stock Clerk
  41. Swim Instructor
  42. Team Member
  43. Ticket Taker
  44. Tutor (in-person or online)
  45. Waiter/Waitress

As you try new jobs, continually identify your special gifts and talents. Do you have fun doing certain tasks? Does it seem easier for you than others? Are you complemented on certain skills? This knowledge will help guide your career, allowing you to market your abilities and find the best job fit in the future. However, don’t avoid things that may not come easily as that challenges you and grows your skills. Most importantly, enjoy the experience of meeting new people, gaining experience and putting some cash in your pocket.


What Makes a Great Consultant

photo of man and woman looking at laptop
Photo by on

A consultant’s job is to provide external advice and services to companies needing special expertiseA project can last a few hours to a few years and the customer changes constantly. While it can be a challenge, the variety keeps it interesting and provides experiences to prepare you to be the best in your field.

I am in the tech industry and have been consulting and managing consultants for over 12 years. Here is what I found makes a great consultant:

  • Leads by serving, sharing their knowledge and building consensus.
  • Has genuine interest in the customer and the business value of the project.
  • Asks the customer how they define success and checks in often to ensure they are meeting those expectations.
  • Is a lifelong learner and works to be a subject matter expert in their field.
  • Enjoys variety in their job and adapts easily to changes to their workflow.
  • Leaves their ego behind, and instead, favors a successful project over being right.
  • Enjoys working within a team towards a common goal.

Success in consulting is not just what you do, but how you do it. These skills can be developed, but it takes practice and more importantly, the desire to do so.

Benefits to Volunteering (with TechGirlz)


The best way to help yourself is to help others.

close up photography of dragonfly perched on a finger
Photo by Min An on

Volunteering for a worthy cause is a selfless act – or is it? You are giving of your time and efforts, but you gain so much more in return. I’ll share with you why I volunteer for TechGirlz. My hope is you’ll consider volunteering for a cause you believe in and see similar benefits.

Supporting a cause

Volunteer for causes you are passionate about. This way, you are spending your time towards a solution. It can give you a sense of accomplishment and control in that you can affect change in your community.

As a women working in IT, I want to encourage young girls to learn about technology in a way that interests them. TechGirlz is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the gender gap in technology occupations by focusing on girls at the crucial middle school age. Women make up only a quarter of jobs in IT. The numbers go down from there – 5% for Asian women, 3% for African-American women and 1% for Hispanic women. The number of women in tech in the United States has declined steadily since 1984. To make it worse, women are leaving the field faster than they are entering it.

It’s important to me to support women in IT now and in the future. It’s about inclusion and creating opportunities for everyone. Technology drives all aspects of our world and it’s important for us all to be represented. Understanding technology gives young girls opportunities for growth, new perspectives and possibly a future career goal.

Learn Something New

Many volunteering opportunities allow you to try something new. Organizations need help and so many tasks can be learned “on the job”. It’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone and be given opportunities you might not otherwise get.

TechGirlz offers girls free hands-on workshops showcasing different technologies. I’ve techgirlzassisted at the workshops teaching Infographics, Ruby on Rails, Linux, Crowdsourcing and WordPress. I’ve broadened my technical knowledge, sharpened my presentation skills  and improved my problem-solving abilities (because public library computers are never without a problem to fix). Technology is always changing and having a love of learning is critical.

During the workshop, it’s my favorite part to encourage the girls to explore, test and even break the technology. Making mistakes is where the learning happens. It’s a great reminder to just have fun and explore.

Meet New People

People who volunteer their time and skills are typically altruistic and supportive. These kind souls are great people to spend time with. It gives you a chance to learn from others and see new approaches. You can grow through the experiences and wisdom of others.

While volunteering at TechGirlz, I’ve met successful and interesting women and men. Also, the people who run TechGirlz are well organized and extremely helpful.  It inspires me to see a community come together to share their love of technology to enrich a young person’s life. You also get a chance to network and learn about other’s interests and careers. Who knows? – it could lead to a new friendship, new customer or a new job.

I’m also inspired by the young girls at the workshops. They are very talented and have fresh new ideas.

techgirlz workshopRecently, during the WordPress class, one girl started her blog on home organization. It was her passion and now she had an outlet to share her techniques.

Focus on Others, Not Your Problems

If you are struggling with something, don’t fall into the trap of focusing on your problems as it may draw in more of the same bad things. Take time to address your problem, but more importantly, stay positive and give of yourself. Break the cycle by using the blessings you have today, right now, to make the world a better place.

I have my share of stresses and moments of doubt. I tend to worry about the future and the next steps in my career in a constantly changing IT landscape. TechGirlz allows me to use my current technical knowledge and combine it with helping others. Sharing my time and encouraging others lifts my spirits. It’s documented that volunteering boosts your well-being. At the end of the TechGirlz workshop, the many smiles and thank you’s from the girls and parents feels pretty great.

Everyone has a talent or gift they can share. Volunteer and open yourself up to new opportunities, new experiences and new people.