Whatever type of school you have attended, a small college or sprawling university, your first job is going to be vital to your subsequent career.  You have to take it very seriously. You are starting out on your professional path in life. All schools try to prepare their grads for the real world and offer internships and other programs as preparatory to the ultimate goal. Starting out is tough and students need any advantages they can get. They will tell you that your first job may be mundane and low paying, but it will provide valuable experience and an entrée to other more lucrative positions.

Thus, the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t sneer at your first offers and evaluate them according to what they can teach you about the working world. I don’t care if you are a clerk in a sporting goods store, a yoga instructor, a barista in the new corner coffee bar, or a receptionist answering phones, filing, shredding documents, and the like. Any job can showcase the talents of a young grad, if only your ability to work as a team, get along with the boss, and execute your tasks on time. You want to put your best foot forward; your next employers are going to read your letters of recommendation and form an immediate opinion.

Menial tasks are part and parcel of so many careers at any level. I remember a friend telling  me about his first job in an office building as a mailroom sorter. You can’t get lower down than that! He got to walk about the entire company, however, and was able to observe everyone first hand—from the lowest admins to the top brass. What a learning experience. He noted that one of the executives could often be seen shredding documents once a week, right there in his spacious window-laden office. Wow! He was surprised, but soon noted that this routine was important to corporate security and confidentiality. Shredding, in fact, was not a menial job at all, but something only the most valuable people could execute. He longed to be able to load the machine himself and had read about all the different models reviewed by https://www.shredderlab.com. Getting his own would be a symbol of his arrival in the workplace.

Let this be a lesson to those who scoff at entry-level jobs. Whatever is asked of you is relevant to your future. Your willingness to perform your responsibilities gives insight into your character. If you are resistant at a young age, imagine what you will be like later on. My guidance counselor was clear on this subject. He told me many stories of grads who quit their first job because it was tedious and boring, but who failed to secure something better for years. A bad attitude is hard to shake. You carry it with you day one.