I was in need of some blog-spiration and it came when I read a Facebook post from my friend Laurie Munn. Laurie and I first met years and years ago when she was working for one of our local television stations and I was doing media relations for the Fiesta Bowl.
Her post was recapping a conversation with her daughter about her first job. “My first job out of college I was paid $4.25 an hour to produce two newscasts a day. She was appalled. ‘Mum! That's all you got paid? Producers go through a lot to get a show on the air!’ I explained that a) it was 1988, b) I had very little experience and I needed a job, so I was in no position to complain, and c) I still use the lessons I learned there every day in my current job. I also learned that I can take care of myself, which may be the most valuable lesson of all.”
I have had similar conversations about my first grown-up job. It was 1987, I was a fulltime intern in the public relations department at one of the local resorts here in Phoenix, was paid minimum wage, which at the time was $3.35 an hour and that was enough to pay for a car, insurance and an apartment. And I still managed to have money to go out occasionally on the weekends (thank goodness for happy hour pricing!). And I was doing what I had gone to college to do. And like Laurie, the lessons learned and the people I met at that first job are what led to the second and third, the start of my own consulting business and the fourth (and hopefully final) stop in my career path.
There was no doubt in my mind that taking that internship following graduation was the right thing to do. It was never about the money, I knew I would figure something out. It was about putting my degree to work, doing something that I knew was right for me.
I didn’t know at the time that so many opportunities would directly connect back to that experience. Whether it be people that I’ve met, organizations that I’ve become involved in, or clients I’ve had the pleasure to work with, I can “Kevin Bacon” it back to those early job experiences.
Thanks, Laurie, for the great reminder!