Many people start at their first job towards the end of their high school career, or shortly after, and often times it is not their own decision. I do not know too many people who were excited and happy to start working as high school came to a close, and most people I know or have watched enter the workforce did so because they had hopes of moving out while in college, and needed some money to do so. I believe that by changing ones mindset, and starting in these jobs, or any job, with a mindset of finding new opportunities and avenues to grow, one can be successful and enjoy their job. Today while out on a run I was reflecting on a good habit of mine, always trying to be 10 to 15 minutes early for work. Punctuality is a very important thing for me, and it is something I have woven into my character for multiple reasons. I know it makes me a better friend because everyone can count on me showing up when I say I will, and it helps me to be a better employee because my managers see a consistent pattern from me, and have a chance to go over anything important with me before my shift really starts. By having a mindset of work and punctuality being entwined, and looking for ways to distinguish myself as an excellent employee, I have had an easier time connecting with supervisors, and have enjoyed the workplace more.
My drive for punctuality came from two places, high school sports at Reno High School, and a club basketball team called the Reno Ballers. At Reno High I had coaches who kept practice on “Husky Time” which meant that when they said practice started at 4:00, we were expected to be at practice at 3:45, and to be ready with our gear on by 4:00. Husky Time was not a new concept for me, because growing up playing basketball with the Ballers program was the same way. We were expected to be early and ready to play before practice started, plus if you were early you had time to socialize, warm up, get some shots in, or whatever you needed to do. I learned the consequences of being late without communicating from my coaches, and found great benefits from being early to practice. Having good practice routines and being early paid off, while being late and slacking meant that we had to work harder, and were less successful in the long run. Four years of consistent high school sports routines, and four years of basketball before that, drilled the importance of punctuality and focus into me, and those two factors became part of my character.
Bringing this character of punctuality paired with focus and preparedness when I showed up for something helped me in the classroom at the University of Nevada, Reno, and in the workplace. I have never been late for work at my current job, and two times that I was cutting it close and knew I may be a few minutes late I called my manager to make sure they were aware of my situation. I love being early to work because it allows me to check in with co-workers, double check the schedule for the next day and week, or get any important instructions before I get going. There is no coach with a whistle, and no track or basketball court filled with lines to run to if I am late, but keeping the sports tradition of being 15 minutes early is still important for me, and still pays dividends in the long run. When starting a new job, or beginning your first job, remember anything a coach taught you. Look for areas where your job will help you grow. By showing up early and focused with a positive attitude believing that you will have a chance to improve and grow, just as anyone might do when going to a sports practice, you will enjoy your work more, and get more out of it!