Keep Calm And Kerri On: ‘Career Path’
Published: November 1st, 2021
By: Sun Columnist Kerri Green

Keep Calm and Kerri On: ‘Career Path’

Dear friends,

What was the first job you ever had? You likely had an odd job like babysitting, farming or yard work. I certainly did my share of babysitting back in the day!

My first “real” job was at a movie theater. Here’s a bit of history … did you know that Sidney had a movie theater on Main Street? It’s where Joe & Vinny’s is now, but when I was a kid, it was a one screen theater and a friend of my parents owned it. When I was about 14, I got a job taking tickets and running the concession stand. It’s where I discovered my love of “Raisinets” and my disdain for popcorn. My first summer working there was the year that “Jurassic Park” came out and it ran for many weeks! After just a couple of weekends I knew that movie by heart.

It really enjoyed this job. It was my first experience handling money, dealing with customers, and having to clean up after people. It’s probably why, as an adult, I always try to make sure I take my garbage with me when I leave a theater. I know what it’s like to have to clean up after people leave their mess behind. So rude – take care of your own garbage!

I did a quick survey of a few friends, and we all had similar experiences with our first jobs. Most of us had never dealt with the public like this before, and for a teenager just getting out into the job market, there is a definite learning curve.

Did you ever see that movie “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”, starring Christina Applegate? She’s working at a fast-food restaurant, cleaning the aftermath of a day’s worth of goop, and makes the comment that “no one is going to hire a teenager to do anything that isn’t disgusting”. It’s true … we all had to make our bones and usually it’s by doing the odd jobs, and gross jobs that were part of the pecking order. We had to start somewhere, right?

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Since that summer working at the movie theatre, I have almost always had a job … or two … or three! I remember after high school, before leaving for the military, I had three different jobs at once. I was working at Dick’s in Vestal, I was waitressing at The River Club in Afton and I worked the overnight shift at a gas station. There were times I went from one job to the next, barely sleeping. It’s great to be young and not need sleep! Working never bothered me and I had some great (and not so great) experiences, which all helped shape the person I am today. 
For many out there today, the job market is difficult to navigate. There are barriers that make it difficult to find a job and in this post-pandemic world, it’s a little tougher. There are child-care barriers, transportation barriers, remote work barriers like technology gaps.

If you are someone who is looking for a job, where do you go? Online employment sites like Indeed or Monster are great, but they’re so impersonal. Your job prospects come down to how you look on paper before you even get invited in for an interview. Not everyone is great a resume writing, and it can be a challenge. If you are one of these people who need a little brush up on your resume, CDO Workforce can help you out and get you ready to apply for a job.

There is a misconception that people just don’t want to work. I don’t believe that is true and I don’t believe it’s that simple. I think it’s hard to put yourself out there. I believe that there are factors that make it difficult for people to work. Some people lack certain skills and maybe they’ve been out of the job market for a while, and they’re not sure how to dip their toe back in.

I also believe that direct sales, food service and customer service jobs are extremely difficult to work in! But these jobs are so important and are truly essential! As consumers we need to be more respectful of those who work in a customer-facing position. With so many job openings, many of our food service and retail industries are lacking staff to function as they need to. We all could use a little patience and need to remember to thank those who do come to work. I saw a great meme a few weeks ago and it said “The world is short staffed. Be king to those that showed up.”

For those of you ready to jump into the job market, or maybe looking to make a change, there is a great opportunity just a couple of weeks away. It’s the return of the Commerce Chenango Career Expo, which is being held – in person – at SUNY Morrisville’s Norwich Campus on November 9th from 11 am to 2 pm.

Here is your opportunity to meet with some fabulous companies from the area that need employees now. If you are someone who shines better in person, here is your chance! We were really bummed that we couldn’t hold this event last year, so we are thrilled that we can bring this back to the community! We have a lot of fantastic employers that are coming because they have jobs open and need to hire – now! This is your chance to get back out there and see if there is a new opportunity for you.

Just because I once ate my weight in concessions stand candy doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am talking about! Take a chance, stop by the Career Expo and maybe start down a new path. What do you have to lose?

Be well,

Kerri




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