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  • UNITE Editorial

A Part-Time Job - the Best Decision I've Ever Made

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The truth is, everyone likes holidays (I mean the real ones, not the ones where we have tons of homework to complete). It gives us the time to do whatever we wish to do, learn new skills or even sit at home and complete 3 seasons of the newest English sitcom within a month.

Many of us go through the dilemma of not knowing how to pass our time during a nine-month holiday, but after a month of sitting in front of my computer screen, I realised I needed to do something more vibrant and exciting. So, as the title suggests, I decided to get a job. This wasn’t for the need for extra pocket money or whatsoever but simply to pass my time and broaden my knowledge.

Since I’m more of the energetic type, I decided to work in a café rather than some monotonous 9am to 5pm rigid office job. So, after walking around the malls and a little advise from my elder brother I decided to join Starbucks as a part-time barista, and let me tell you why this has been one of the best decisions I’ve made till date.

1) I got to make loads of new friends.

As someone who is able to talk for close to 24 hours of the day with almost no rest, I constantly find the need to look for new people to share and listen to stories with. Considering the very fun and easy-going environment, we have all the time and freedom to talk to our colleagues while getting our work done and that’s not all! We also get to talk to our regular customers and eventually we get to forge a close relationship with them (coffee indeed brings people together). Moreover, since I’m working at a tourist destination, I get to meet and interact many tourists who always come with interesting stories of their own country that are really fun to listen to.

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2) Constantly getting to learning new things.

Many have the misconception that being a barista stops at us learning the recipes of 20 different drinks but in reality, there is much more to that. In the months I spent working with the company, I’ve realised that there is so much more to coffee than it just being a bitter-tasting drink – there are different types, different flavours, and even different histories. Personally, I feel like it’s a chance to learn about a subject that is unconventional and rarely discussed, one that we won’t get the opportunity to do in school.

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3) The satisfaction felt after a day’s work.

Despite the immense lethargy that sets in, there is no doubt to say that after every shift I feel satisfied both monetarily and non-monetarily. There’s definitely that sense of happiness everyone feels when we have earned ourselves some extra pocket money, knowing that we won’t feel as guilty (wallet wise) when we buy that extra cup of unnecessary bubble tea. It also gives an unexpected emotional satisfaction as we have achieved something for the day, be it making customers happy or maybe even having a good time with your work mates. Every now and then, treating my family to a meal makes me feel really good too.

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4) It makes us more independent individuals.

Many of us are used to relying on our parents to feed us or buy us the latest trends. Working five days a week during the holidays made me realise how much hard work our parents put in to give us the basic needs that we require more so our wants. Ever since I started earning money, I’ve almost always attempted to purchase all my teenager-demands with my own money. Other than making me feel better (as mentioned in reason 3) it also made me understand the value of money. I guess I would describe it as a little teaser to what our lives may possibly be like in the future. We also learn how to stand up for ourselves when something goes wrong and be confident in our own skin.

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5) It breaks the monotony of school life.

This is subjective to whether you choose to continue working even school starts but I made the decision to, simply because I grew way too much of an emotional attachment to the people I met in my store. Till now I can confidently say that I have no regrets of continuing my work as meeting my friends there twice a week gives me an outlet to vent all the stress that five different assignments due in the same week gives me. In addition, it allows me several hours to simply put school at the back of my mind and not feel guilty about it – basically similar to what CCAs and interest groups do but just with added benefits.

So, these are just a few of the many benefits taking up a part-time job can bring about. I agree that the thought of stepping into the real world at a young age may be scary to some and many fear messing up on the job or even being judged for being ourselves. We just need to be reassured that people and customers are not out to get us. Being in a place that has a good working environment, we are sure to get lots of positive vibes from everyone, a lot of support from our colleagues and even the opportunity to make some long-lasting friends.

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