That first job you had as a teenager bagging groceries or delivering newspapers may have more value than you thought at the time.
There are many lessons to be learned from first jobs, argues Simon C.Y. Wong in his blog post, "In Praise Of Humble First Jobs," and they're not about career advancement. Wong discussed some of the life lessons that everyone can learn from their humble beginnings in a recent HuffPost Live segment.
"Looking back, I thought, it just taught me so much about life, about how to relate to people... and the fact that we actually share a lot in common even though we may have very different backgrounds and ambitions," Wong told host Nancy Redd. "For example, I think a lot of us, no matter what we do we have pride in doing things well, we want to be decent."
Shala Marks, who is currently working in her first job after graduating from college, told the panel that her humble start ultimately helped her grow.
"I think the phrase that says 'never forget where you came from' is going to help me in the future to remember [that] I did so much work," she said. "It's kind of a stepping stone to get me where I want to go."
Watch the clip above to hear more, and check out the full segment on HuffPost Live.
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Also on HuffPost:
It Keeps You Out Of Poverty
This may sound glib at first, but it's really true. Having a regular income means that you can avoid many of <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf#glance" target="_hplink">the health pitfalls of poverty and profound poverty</a>. These include, according to the CDC, access to health care, management of chronic conditions, a healthful, nutritious diet, regular exercise, a reduction in stress and overall good mental health. And, as we covered recently, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-redline-md-mph/sleep-apnea-poverty_b_1837805.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living" target="_hplink">sleep problems can disproportionately affect the poor</a>.
It Gives You Access To Better Care
Sure the Affordable Healthcare for America Act will help close the gap, but having employer-based insurance is a major indicator of healthfulness. Not only do these insurance plans make it easier to have regular check ups and continuous medication coverage, <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/10working4you.html" target="_hplink">they often offer wellness incentives</a>, like discounted gym memberships, smoking cessation programs and weight loss counseling.
It Makes You Feel Socially Connected
Research shows that people who have good relationships with coworkers <a href="http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/08/11/getting-along-with-coworkers-may-add-years-to-your-life" target="_hplink">actually live longer</a>. They also report greater happiness and life satisfaction. Overall, belonging to a group provides a social safety net that is <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/03/the-longevity-project-decades-of-data-reveal-paths-to-long-life/72290/" target="_hplink">associated with longevity.</a>
It Can Help You Recover
For those who have been unemployed -- especially due to injury or illness -- evidence shows that <a href="http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/hwwb-is-work-good-for-you.pdf" target="_hplink">returning to work can speed recovery</a>.
It Helps Us Find Purpose In Old Age
Work is often tied up in our sense of purpose and one indication of that is the growing number of people who choose to keep working into old age. Dr. Robert Butler, founding director of the National Institute on Aging and CEO of the International Longevity Center <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4751367" target="_hplink">told NPR</a> that older adults may continue working because "they have something to get up for in the morning. It gives them a real goal, a sense of meaning."