Throughout my teaching career, I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to meet some truly brilliant students. It often gets me thinking, what common factors predict their success?
While I can’t offer concrete proof, I see one pattern that consistently stands out. Quite a number of these top students share a common history of working minimum wage jobs, be it flipping burgers, pouring coffee at Tim Hortons, or assisting shoppers at Walmart.
If I don’t spot such experience on their LinkedIn or resume, I make a point to ask. More often than not, they’ve had these experiences; they just didn’t think to include them.
Here’s my two cents for students: don’t just pine for that high-profile, white-collar internship. There’s much to learn from these jobs we might consider ‘basic’. They teach you to handle pressure, manage conflict, and communicate effectively — skills that hold their weight in gold in any professional setting.
Not to mention, earning your own keep builds character. I would argue the earlier you start, the better it shapes your personality and work ethic.
Bear in mind, I’m not saying this is the absolute key to success. It’s my observation, and from my vantage point, an intriguing one. So, don’t be afraid to start small. Learn, grow, and show us all just how far you can go!