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Minimum Wage Jobs Offer More Than Money

Updated on May 23, 2015

Is It All About The Money?

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Look At The Bright Side

Many people with varying levels of education and skills find themselves working a minimum wage job. In fact, there are countless individuals with college degrees who find themselves working for minimum wage. It can be discouraging, especially to a highly motivated individual with much to offer and bills to pay. Three important opportunities are available to you in your current job that you must take advantage of. It not only improves your chances at finding better employment but it also makes you a better and valued employee at your current job.

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Improve Your People Skills

Most jobs involve some contact with the public. Even if there is no public contact, there are at least interactions with upper management and co-workers. Use these interactions as ways to improve your communication skills. Learning to communicate, either verbally or non-verbally, is the most important skill any employee can have. These skills will get you noticed when it comes time for promotion opportunities or when scouting for other employment. To truthfully add this to your resume or cover letters to potential employers adds to your desirability as an employee.

  • If your grammar is poor, practice improving it when you speak and especially when you put something in writing.
  • Get rid of any bad habits such as using slang, nervous laughing or use of cliches.

Remember body language: study up on the effects of body language. Here are a few tips:

  • Something as simple as crossing your arms shows defensiveness.Many times this is just how someone poses out of habit without meaning to give the wrong impression.
  • Fidgeting shows boredom or lack of interest.
  • Eye contact is important; "rolling of the eyes" is a terrible habit to get rid of.
  • Smile. This is hard for some people but all it takes is practice. Make sure you have a genuine smile because a fake one can be insulting. However, any smile is almost always better then a frown or none at all.

Be Polite and Professional

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Networking

Going hand-in-hand with good communication skills is networking. Use your time as a minimum wage worker cultivating contacts that may in the future provide higher paying job leads or provide good references. I'm not talking about hitting everyone you meet on the job for a business card or giving them a spiel of how you are looking for a job. By providing excellent customer service and displaying professional behavior at your job, people you come into contact with will notice and will remember you.

Learn The Business

How many jobs have you had where you think, "I can do this better. I should open my own business."? If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, then working at a minimum wage job can give you the opportunity to see how a business flows, identify target markets and trends and gain confidence in your skills and abilities. Again, networking comes in handy here as many employees would have a loyal following should they decide to open their own business. It's not easy at all to be self-employed and business ventures are risky so just knowing the business front and back doesn't necessarily mean you will be financially successful, so do your research and consult with others before jumping in.

Take advantage of every training your employer provides. This may include anything from sales and customer service to motivational and time management training. This is usually provided at no cost to the employee and would cost anyone else several hundred dollars. Take notes and ask questions.

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Positive Thinking

Working hard for minimum wage can pack a real hit to your self esteem if you have a negative attitude. You must think in a positive way and believe that the job you are doing is important for you and not just for your employer. If you believe that you are just "spinning your wheels" and dread the thought of going to work earning less than you should then you will not be in the positive state of mind needed to recognize and seize greater opportunities. Improving yourself and the way you think goes a long way.

One last thing to also know: Even a higher paying job does not mean you will be happy or have job satisfaction. Sometimes, those two things mean more than money.

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