What are some jobs a younger person could get to help build people skills?

This is a great question, and the beauty is that most good relevant jobs can readily be obtained by younger people.

But the long and short of it is any job dealing with the public will give you life skills. In conversations with friends and colleagues, we talk about food service and customer service respectively, and they’re exactly right. A job working with the public will teach you how to work successfully with displeased people. This is an invaluable skill that anyone can use—it’s not just a job skill, it’s a life skill! Just as importantly, these jobs will teach you:

  • how to work successfully as part of a team, and if you are successful,
  • self-confidence, which I think is an under-recognized trait that more people could use in a professional context

Part-Time Jobs Teach Lifetime SkillsFood Service

Food service jobs teach you a lot, but a really key skill that a good food server develops is the ability to survey a dining room and see what else needs doing. Was that table bussed? Is the couple in the corner unhappy with their meal? Has that check really been waiting to be paid for more than 5 minutes? A good server should always have an eye out for those kinds of things. A good server knows that it’s the entire experience the guests have that they will tip on. Anyone who grew up with experience in cafes, restaurants, and general stores were forced to learn to:

  • Greet customers audibly, politely, with eye contact and a smile
  • Take down orders, asking for clarification when necessary and answering customers’ questions as best as possible
  • Occasionally communicate that an error had been made, apologize, and strategize how to make it right
  • Calculate and convey the amount customers owed for the transaction
  • Request and check proper identification to confirm someone’s age before selling them alcohol or cigarettes
  • Collaborate with fellow employees to fulfill orders
  • Thank customers for visiting the establishment and encouraging them to come again

Customer Service & Support SkillsCustomer Service

Customer service jobs teach you a really important trait: creative thinking. Hands down that is the number one job to develop soft skills. You will be forced out of your comfort zone, taught had to deal with stressful situations and stressful people and you will eventually learn how to deal with people. Sometimes the caller has an issue that isn’t addressed in your script. You should have resources to see what your options are to make that person happy.

Let’s face it, people don’t call customer service unless their day isn’t going well anyway.

Being able to fix someone’s problem is why you have that job.

This sometimes requires a creative solution to the issue at hand. As important as social skills are I think it’s more important a young person can touch as many basic work areas as they can to help them naturally gain a sense of self. In my opinion, this is one of the main issues with why it’s such a struggle for a lot of younger generations to figure out what they want to do later in life.

Sales Jobs Teach Life SkillsSales

No entry-level/part-time position tests your resolve in the same way that a sales job will. At the same time, it will teach you a lifelong skill. Everyone uses sales tactics in day to day life to get the things that we want. Sales and persuasion go hand in hand. Experience in sales will help you convince future employers of your value to get jobs and earn raises. Sales experience will also help you understand how sales tactics are used against you allowing you to avoid ending up on the wrong end of a deal. Most sales positions have quotas so you’ll also learn valuable lessons about managing your time effectively, setting & exceeding expectations, and working in teams to accomplish organizational goals.

Experience in sales will be invaluable in many careers and will teach you:

  • How to deal with rejection
  • How to focus your energy on achieving your goals
  • How to overcome objections
  • How to build value and frame propositions in a way that entices your subject to buy what you’re selling

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