We all remember our first job as a babysitter… or an ice cream shop attendant… or a restaurant waiter…. Whatever it was, you have a wide mix of fond to distasteful memories of the job. What you probably didn’t realize was the skills you were building. Okay, mowing someone’s lawn does not seem like it would be applicable to business, but it is. It taught you the basics of dealing with people. That is an invaluable skill used in every line of work.

You Learned What Pissed People Off

This became more important than anyone realized. There are certain words and actions that you don’t use with your boss or a customer. Rage slamming the restaurant kitchen door was not the most mature move. Talking smack about customers accidentally over the loudspeaker was the #1 way to get fired. One embarrassing misadventure at a time, you learned the importance of monitoring your actions. That way, you clearly avoided them in the future.

You Learned When to Keep Your Mouth Shut (and When to Let It Roll)

As much as you really wanted to share some words that awful party mom for not tipping you, you learned to keep your lips zipped. Then, when the coast was all clear, you ranted to your coworkers about the injustice that was just served. This is the most basic and critical lessons of crisis management. For my visual learners, here is it all laid out:

Alright, that was more for the kicks, but you get the point. Your customers keep business running and you need to maintain a positive image to stay in business. You learned to choose your words wisely… a very valuable lesson in the professional world.

You Learned What Works When Someone is Ticked Off

The day you learned that you could hand a coupon to disgruntled customers was glorious. If someone is just not having it, you knew the maneuvers and shuffles that needed to be performed. A combination of learning from others and your own mistakes gave you the best method for cleaning whatever mess popped up. 

Couples refused to eat the meals you served them? You slapped on your best empathetic smile to soothe the dissatisfied, highly-picky customers.

Birthday kid blew chunks in the bouncy house? You calmly evacuated the children and whipped out the cleaning supplies. 

Whatever it was, you learned what worked and what massively backfired. The same holds true with crisis management. You must keep your cool while swiftly delivering your best solution!

You Learned You Can’t Win ‘em All (or Maybe You Can?)

Some people seem like they are born with a frown on their face. You were sure they went home with a smile, knowing they ravaged the goodness from your day. Where there is a possibility that the prior is true, I am going to say they just had a bad day.

Instead of viewing those people with a look of disgust, you took a step back from the situation. Severely ticked off people can lead you to creating a better business. If you dig to the root of the problem, you can find a treasure trove of vital adjustments. Crazy party mom says that she did not get half the party she paid for…. Perhaps the business lacked a personal touch. Maybe the party packages are too expensive for the value she associates with the business. A slew of possible reasonings can be the answer to Krazy Karyn’s complaints. Uncovering flaws in the system leads to less crisis to manage in the future.

Save it for Later

(👆Great song by The English Beat, btw.👌) 

Whether you realized it or not, you packed up all those lessons and brought them with you. 

You pulled out your customer service smile in the last job interview you were on. 

You knew what words to say to prevent your friend from dying her hair magenta after a bad breakup.

You even kept quiet when your Uncle Phil discussed politics at Thanksgiving.

All the little skills made you better, stronger, wiser in the face of adversity, training you for the future.

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