The Pepelwerk Podcast Ep 4 – The First Job
Hello, and welcome to the fourth podcast of Pepelwerk. I am Kim Kelley, the CEO and co-founder, and this week is back-to-school week, and I’m focusing on the conversation around getting your first job while you are still dealing with the hassles of school and parents and activities and social life. How in the world are you supposed to balance that? Well, obviously, through very fine scheduling, and I hope you young adults are doing that project management by yourself because that is a work skill, and you should add it to your profile if you have it.
And, more importantly, I want to talk about level setting expectations around what a first job is or what even an internship is because our audience, you are millennials and gen Z’ers, and even the parents of millennials and gen Z’ers, and I think it’s fair to set out: what are the expectations that we should have of those first-time jobs and internships when we finally get ahold of them.
Now, of course, through Pepelwerk, you can get ahold of those opportunities when you create your talent profile, and of course, we’re help you manage that schedule because we want to get the process of getting you connected to those opportunities and being able to realize those opportunities as easy as possible, but setting expectations is a really good place to start. I think, before you decide to do anything, you really want to set expectations.
I think it’s kind of ironic and almost weird, maybe weird. There’s no irony in it. It’s just plain weird how this new generation of gen Z’ers have been entertained around the idea of entrepreneurship and the sexiness of being able to be the next digital superstar that is making $10,000 a month and what does that do for somebody who really has to get that hourly job maybe at a Wendy’s right?
Well, if you are one of those young adults who are looking to make yourself the next advertising star on digital platforms, I congratulate you. I’m learning how to do that now and it is a stretch for me to put myself out there so socially. I didn’t grow up with this technology, but I’m learning it from my own millennial daughters and actually getting their suggestions along the way.
So, if that’s the path you’re taking, go after it and go after it aggressively, but you’ve already set that path for yourself and that expectation, but the rest of our users, and if you’re a parent of this generation, what is wrong with those hourly jobs? What is wrong with labor, learning laborious jobs, and what is wrong with learning technical skills from a foundation? We’ve somehow advanced the idea with our up-and-coming work generation that for some reason, they just get to be the president and the leader just because they have some really good ideas.
Really good ideas go nowhere without experience in execution, and it’s just impractical for an internship to be more than that, to be more than getting life experiences so that when you come to your next opportunity to flourish in a leadership role or in your next great idea, you have some sort of foundation. So, that’s what internships are for. Yes, you are gonna do tasks that seem to be mundane, but they’re mundane for a reason and you need to think about what is going on around you. Be observant. Use that time in that monotonous task to be observant.
That goes the same for if you decided to … you’re 16 years old. You’re looking to work at The Smoothie Factory because it’s close to the high school. It’s close to your house. You don’t have wheels yet. Maybe that’s the scenario, and maybe making shakes doesn’t seem so cool or exciting to do, but it’s income and it teaches you responsibility and balancing multiple priorities and learning how to manage your time wisely and customer service and dealing with customers and what all that means. Those are all skills that you have to be able to learn that you can actually put onto your talent profile to advance you into the next opportunity.
But, there is always a foundation, and the next part of the conversation I want to talk about in the sense of an expectation is: some of those jobs actually end up allowing you to play the long game. Let me back up just a second because she short game, is: I have a perspective of, “I need to get cash. I need to get cash now, so whatever job I can take, I’m gonna take,” but some of those jobs that you think are not worth your time or attention, or the idea of them just doesn’t work with you, you may wanna open your eyes to what the long game is.
Did you know that over 3% of the millionaires that exist today started off in hourly roles like baggers and cashier and fast food people, and some have worked as plumbers and working in manufacturing and different packaging and delivering roles. We all have started somewhere, but that’s a foundation for something that could be the long game, and I’ll give a particular example from Panda Express, and I bring this up because I actually talked to my 19 year old. When we decided, is college going to be the right thing for her or not?
Because of the skills that she has, the interests that she has, and the ability, a four-year degree program isn’t the best bang for her buck, but an example: and, this is not the road that she chose. She chose a different path to start, but we started to evaluate the long game, and Panda Express was a great example of the long game. If you start at Panda Express as a cashier or the person who makes the trays of food, that’s your ticket in to eventually become a franchise owner. They only allow people who have gone through the ranks to earn a franchise. It’s actually the same for 60% of the most profitable franchises of the world, not just in the US, but in the world, that they appreciate the work ethic and the foundation and the dedication and the loyalty that started in high school, and ended up to be a multimillion dollar cash ticket for them.
Some of them didn’t go to college, but the point here is, when you’re making a decision about a job, don’t knock things because they don’t necessarily have all the cool points that you’re looking for, and don’t knock things because they don’t necessarily fit within the ideal of who you want to become or how you want to be seen because the long game will determine that at the end of the day. And besides, you’re 16, 17, 18. I’m sorry. Even if you are one of our college student members or even listening to this podcast, you really don’t know what the world has in store for you, so knock the judgment. Get to work. Don’t think that you’re entitled to a free ticket in: doesn’t even matter whether it’s an internship that you got because your parents knew about the internship and you think it’s gonna be something bigger than what it is.
It’s a foundation. It’s a starting point, and almost anybody who wants to see this next generation become very successful, the most important thing that we want you to be able to achieve with your new jobs, your first time jobs, your starter jobs, is the ability to set a foundation for what kind of work ethic you are going to have and how you’re going to approach work for the rest of your life. Again, it’s a foundation, but you can look at it in the short term or the long term, and with your Pepelwerk profile, you know that you can manage and edit those skills as you evolve. That’s the whole point of it.
No one will ever be able to see your profile. No one’s ever going to be able to go onto Pepelwerk and type in Kim Kelley and see what I’m up to because my profile is personal and personal to me and grows as I grow in order to match with employers when I’m ready, and for those starter jobs and internships, it’s a great place to start. So, thank you very much for listening to this podcast. Thank you very much for being our users and our audience who is: maybe you’re thinking of becoming a user for our talent side or even our employer … for our employer side. This is all about making that balance conversation between the two of you to make a match in the workplace. So, remember, we give you the tools. It’s up to you how you use them.