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[Day 8] Lessons Learned Working for the Man

Working for the man

Today’s day 8 of the 30 day blog challenge. If you’ve got a blog and want to sign up, it’s not too late. Go here.

Quote of the day

“It is not death that a man should fear. Let him fear instead never beginning to live.” -Marcus Aurelius

Today’s topics:

1) Favorite Day Job you ever had


2) Least favorite day job/funny story about working

My First Job

My sweet Penelope was the best part of working at the pet store!

Aside from babysitting jobs, the first job job I ever had was at a pet store. Honestly I wanted to be around people as little as possible (highly sensitive person/introvert) and felt working with animals would be a stress-reliever for me. It was.

Though it was still scary and I struggled to talk to people, I feel like it was a great first job experience. It taught me some important things about myself:

  • I am responsible and capable.
  • I care about what I do – whatever it is.
  • I have to be careful with this because I have the tendency to do others’ work for them.
  • I have the right to speak up and be treated with respect.

I ended up quitting this job shortly after I purchased weenie dog  because I felt like the owners were taking advantage of me (at 16 I didn’t yet understand that I was attracting this experience). It felt really good to quit because I knew in my heart I deserved better.

My All Time Favorite Job

My most favorite job ever was working at a raw food restaurant. I got to be in charge of opening the store in the morning, prepping food and running the front register.

The best part was the people (and the free food). It was woowoo paradise. Someone always had something to share with me (be it wisdom, jewelry, hand-writing analysis, healthy eating tips or just a smile) and I loved being able to share my knowledge with those new to the raw food lifestyle.

As I shared in this post, food is something that really helped me get sober, feel better and honor my body, so this place was perfect for me to practice a healthy lifestyle. Remember: one of the quickest ways to change something is to surround yourself with people who are doing or have already done what you want to do.

Tales of A Banquet Server

From the time I turned 21 until this day, I have been a part time banquet server. When I first got this job, I loved it, then I hated it and now I’m learning to love it again.


  • If I allow it, it reminds me of how I’ve “failed.” Thoughts like “I shouldn’t still need this job” pop into my head often. I have to remind myself “it’s only temporary” and “I’m not my job.”
  • I feel like someone is constantly looking for and waiting for me to screw up. But, since other people are a reflection of me, I get to see how I do this to myself and from there can choose to do something different.
  • The uniform. I can’t stand not being able to wear what I want to wear. I kinda look and feel like a ventriloquist dummy. Which is funny and ironic because I think it’s a great metaphor for working for the man.


  • For as much as my co-workers complain, I seem to have a different experience. When I make the decision to have a good day, I do. The people who come and talk to me are nice, the people I serve are polite. My “assignment” is easy. Sometimes all I have to do is fold napkins.
  • It’s a great outlet for my perfectionism – I get to go all OCD when I’m setting tables.
  • I’ve sold some of my books to co-workers – and they found it really helpful!
  • I get to practice what I preach – it is a huge challenge to stay in my own energy/vibration when being there, but I get to remember that I always have a choice.
  • I get to work on my people skills, including truly showing up in service.
  • It keeps me humble.
  • The contrast allows me to clarify what I do want – with even more enthusiasm.


  • Life is what we make it.
  • I can let other people help me.
  • I’m a good leader/organizer.
  • I can work as part of a team.
  • There are positives in EVERYTHING.
  • This quote sums it up:

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your f@#%ing khakis. You are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

  • You can’t change anything by hating it.
  • You can’t love anything without loving yourself.

All in all, what I have learned is every challenge helps us develop something we didn’t know we had in us.

It helps us step up, activate our highest commitments and take that leap of faith.

Tips for Parents with Teens:
  1. When helping teens look for their first job,  keep in mind what type of personality they have – introvert/extrovert? Works better on own or working for someone else?
  2. Talk about money in a positive way – make sure they know money isn’t the end-all.
  3. Talk about your values – your teen may not have the same values as you, but make sure you discuss what you feel and why you feel that way and encourage your teen to do the same.

I would love to hear some J-O-B stories from you. What have you learned from working for the man and how are you using this to help you create more of what you do want? Leave me a comment below.

7 replies
  1. Linda says:

    I cracked up when I saw “working for the man!” At first I thought I had called up my own post!

    Needless to say, this was perfect. I wish I could still serve banquets, or even in restaurants, but my arms and legs don’t cooperate any more. What I loved about it, other than (sometimes) making the diners happy, was the lack of my brain’s heavy lifting! I could think about important stuff in between finger snaps, and you didn’t take anything home with you but the money.

    Good Job!
    — Linda

  2. Nicole Ortega says:

    Carrie, this post is so great. There is a TON of useful advice. Really. I kept copy and pasting the stuff I wanted to quote until I finally just gave up because there are so many good tidbits!

    Ok, this is probably my favorite: “every challenge helps us develop something we didn’t know we had in us.”

    I’m a firm believer that our lives unroll in front of us sort of like a red carpet. It’s all rolled up when we start, but as we go through and engage with our lives, it unfolds, and leads us to places we never thought we’d go. But we have to take the steps. Like you said: when you decide to have a good day, you do. Everything starts with a decision.

  3. mary says:

    I also love your insight. I really like the parenting tips you gave about teenagers personality…such as introvert or extrovert. Even for adults it is a good thing to know. It makes a world of difference to how you get on with others and or the actual job.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] recipe is one I received while working at the raw food restaurant referenced in this post. It’s a great vegan alternative to mashed potatoes. I hope you enjoy my favorite thanksgiving […]

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