At the age of 15, I started working with my mother. My mother cared for individuals with disabilities in our home, as a way to earn money I would assist her in her daily duties when I got home school. Some days were challenging and fun at the same time; there are many different things that I have learned and skills that I have developed that will help me as I grow older in my personal and professional life.
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Some of the things I learned are basic life skills. I would help out by doing laundry and cleaning rooms; I would get supplies ready for showers, and lay out outfits for bedtime. There days where I would get to work side by side in the kitchen with mom learning how to prepare meals. As a part of my mother’s job duties she had to budget her clients finances, and in seeing her do this I have learned to budget my own money more efficiently. These are all skills that will be beneficial to me when I am living on my own.
I believe from watching examples set by my mom in her daily work I have learned to manage my time wisely. I have learned how to set goals for myself, and have also learned to make schedules to make sure I get tasks completed on time, and this will ensure I meet my set goals. I know that by learning how to apply effective time management skills I will better understand how to keep professional and personal life from clashing and contradicting one another. With out these conflicts I will be a more successful individual.
I have learned to communicate effectively verbally and nonverbally to a diverse group of individuals. Often times I have seen my mother communicate with her clients in various ways, they have the inability to communicate their needs. In working the clients I have found ways to communicate with them to gain an understanding of what they need. I have learned to read their body language and can tell by different facial expressions whether they are frustrated, angry, and sad. I have learned the importance reading of body language to give me insight on what a person is really thinking or feeling.
It gives me a good feeling to know that I am able to help someone that cannot help them selves. They might not even be able to say thank you but the smile on their face says it all, and it can be the littlest thing like getting a coloring book off the top shelf, making a bag of popcorn, or finding their favorite blanket. I have sat and read books, colored, or played music and brought a laugh or a chuckle or two, but the thought of bringing a little bit more happiness to the clients made it all worth while. They have even given me the name “Brother”.
As a part of working with my mom I have learned to dress appropriately for different situations. For example when I would travel with mom and the clients to the doctor’s office, it would be unacceptable to show up in ripped up jeans, messy hair, and tennis shoes. I have learned that a professional should dress the part. How you dress reflects how you feel about your job. It shows that you take pride in your job and that you are serious about what you do.
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One major point I have learned in doing this job is showing compassion towards others and I have realized that is something missing in this world. I have also realized that no one is exactly the same, and in my professional and personal life it will be essential to give respect to get respect whether it is with a coworker, customer, family, or a friend. It is important to set a good example because others observe our actions and learn from it, so if I am doing something wrong then others might too.
I believe that the knowledge that I have gained through learning how to manage my time wisely and how to set goals for myself, how to cook, clean and do laundry, and how to budget my money will help me when I get to move out on my own. I think the skills I have learned while working will be very important to me as I enter the work world. I believe I have learned some very special skills that be helpful to understand people when working with others whether it is a boss, subordinate, or a customer. I feel I have been taught important skills to prepare me for my adult life.
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