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Starter jobs

April 11, 2014 - Jodelle Greiner
Back in the day, when a teenager bugged their parents for spending money one too many times, the parent would suggest (demand?) the kid get a job and earn their own money, so they could spend it however they wished. Most town kids’ first job was probably in some fast food restaurant.

These entry level, minimum wage jobs served a couple of purposes: one, of course, was money. The kid earned a few hundred a month to spend on snacks, dates, music, movies, fancy clothes their parents wouldn’t buy for them, or save it to buy their first car. It also gave the kid something to put down on a resume, showed them responsibility and what the work world was really like, especially having a boss.

These jobs usually lasted until the kid went away to college. Sometimes they kept the same job through college.

These starter jobs were stepping stones, a rite of passage, something to brag about later in life: “I started out flipping burgers and look where I am now. I worked my way up!”

What these jobs were never meant to be was a career. They were never meant to financially support the kid into adulthood, let alone after they started a family.

Jobs are not created equal. There are jobs you don’t want to do, but somebody has to because they need to be done. These are the unglamorous, bottom-rung jobs where everyone starts out — and doesn’t want to stay. They are incentive to get that training, get that education and move into a nicer job with a better working environment, more prestige and better pay. You get that better pay at those higher level jobs because you are doing more work that requires certain knowledge or skills that not everyone has, and employers need to pay more for skilled employees.

We need to keep encouraging people to learn more, move up and improve their lives.


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