The first sign of a nervous breakdown is when you start thinking your work is terribly important. - Milo Bloom
My first paid job was as a cashier at our local C-Town. I was 15 years old and making $3.35 an hour and, as a result of labor laws, clocked in no more than 18 hours a week (my mother and C-Town would be pleased that I pointed that out). I worked at C-Town, which later became King Kullen and then later Key Food, for three years until I upgraded to a store manager position at our local mom-and-pop pharmacy (in case you're worried that the title "manager" went to my head, see role clarification below). Between my experience as a cashier and local manager, I learned everything I needed to know to be successful in my career, and I have to admit, those jobs still remain my favorite. Too bad I can't support a family on $30 a week.
I should add a disclaimer here for anyone reading this who is under 18: despite my learning everything I needed to know prior to college, college is still a good idea. There's no better way to gain your freedom and make lifelong friends. And you'll have the opportunity to pledge for a fraternity or sorority, which will require you to learn the Greek alphabet and I'm all for that.
Anyway, here are the top three career lessons I learned in C-Town:
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Based in New York, Anna Papadopoulos has held several digital media positions and has worked across many sectors including automotive, financial, pharmaceutical, and CPG.
An advocate for creative media thinking and an early digital pioneer, Anna has been a part of several industry firsts, including the first fully integrated campaign and podcast for Volvo and has been a ClickZ contributor since 2005. She began her career as a media negotiator for TBS Media Management, where she bought for media clients such as CVS and RadioShack. Anna earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from St. John's University in New York.
Anna's ideas and columns represent only her own opinion and not her company's.
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