First Job Series: Jeremy Graber
Farm hand | Large Farmer in Kingman County
Age 14 | $6/hr
I was essentially my boss’ right-hand man during the summer. The two of us handled all of his summer farm work—helping with wheat harvest, running a tractor, working cattle, fixing fences and fixing the machinery all summer long.
Why this job?
Not sure it was a choice! I wanted to work. We knew the family, and growing up in the county, I had been around farming and livestock my whole life. And it paid better than most of the other jobs I could have had.
Being a young kid (in retrospect) in charge of machinery worth over a hundred thousand dollars and being completely responsible to do the work and take care of it. My boss gave me a lot of responsibility that I probably didn’t recognize or appreciate at the time.
Being reliable and working hard can get you a long way. When employers (and now clients) know you’ll be on time, return their calls, and do the things you say you’ll do, that goes a long way in keeping and maintaining trust and respect. If you can’t show up for your shift, why would you get a promotion or more responsibility? When they know it’s taken care of (whether working the field or stocking shelves in my younger days, or now handling legal problems), that’s a weight off their shoulders when they don’t have to follow-up and constantly wonder if the task/problem is being handled.
Be on time, be reliable and have a good attitude. Don’t leave your boss wondering if he/she can count on you to at least be there and do your best. Even if you don’t like it, don’t leave a bad impression on a boss that you can’t be counted on or lazy. Jobs may come and go, but your habits and character follow you everywhere.