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We Ask Women Killing it in Their Field: What Was Your First Job? (Part 2)

They’re killing it in their field now- but everyone has to start somewhere! Here the girls of Salty, June and Gemsita spill: what was their first job?!

Marie-Christine Amyot

Co-Founder

Salty Souls Experience

“I was fifteen and I remember I had made about fifty copies of my “resume” (at that time there wasn’t much on that sheet of paper).  I went to pretty much every store in my neighbourhood looking for someone to hire me, so I could make a bit of money on my own.
I found a job at a bakery that was part of a supermarket.

I was selling all kinds of bread, cakes and charcuteries to customers of the grocery store. I was truly enjoying customer service and the fact that I could take back home some bread and sometimes even cakes at the end of my shifts.
The biggest challenge I encountered was having to wear that hairnet on my head! At fifteen, I was way too girlie and I was stressing out because I thought I was so ugly with that net!
I also needed to start some shifts at 4am to prepare some bread orders for restaurants before the supermarket opened. I was just starting to go out in bars too, so I would party all night and go straight to work at four a.m. You can imagine that I wasn’t all fresh and rested when going to work (oupsiiii).

How not to boss

My boss was a workaholic that constantly told me I looked tired (well, what do you expect if you make me start at 4.a.m?)  She was also the kind of person that could only focus on the negative. She would never smile, was cold, strict and didn’t seem to enjoy life at all. Okay, I wasn’t the employee of the month and sometimes smelled like booze and cigarettes. But I was doing a great job- and at least I was bubbly!

The lesson I keep from this job, besides the fact that party and work is never a good fit, is that having a positive vibe even when you feel tired is always a must! People will always appreciate you more and be more willing to do nice things for you, like covering you for a shift. 😉
If I ever hire a kid on her first job, I know I’ll have an impact on the way she’ll see how it is to work and she’ll remember me for the rest of her life.”

 

Julie Morin-Dumais

Founder

June Swimwear

“My first Job was as a cashier for what used to be a big fancy retail store in Quebec, « Les Ailes de la Mode ». I was working in the lingerie department. I worked there for almost a year. I had been sewing since I was a kid, and I loved seeing all the beautiful clothing in amazing fabrics with the perfect shape.

Of course that first job made me learn customer service and how to manage a cash register. But mostly, I learned there that you shouldn’t judge someone by their appearance. Take, for example, the women who looked like the casual “girl next door”. Usually they were the ones who would end the sale with a huge bill of lingerie! At the time I didn’t understand why people would spend so much on underwear. I got to understand once I tried it later, haha. So that first job was a good work experience as well as a good life lesson. I now apply that lesson to my own company. “ 

 

Ariane Brien Chicoine

Chef

Salty Souls Experience

“When I was sixteen years old my mum told me that normal people my aged actually worked and made their own money. It was a way to be responsible and act like an adult. I wasn’t too keen on the idea and had no idea what the necessary steps of “job hunting” were. So my mom got me a seller position in a coffee brewery department in a grocery store. Marie-Christine was actually in the bakery department!

From what I remember, I was mostly assisting customers with their coffee bean purchases and cleaning the gift store and the brewery machines (I didn’t stay long enough to get the coffee brewery task promotion).

Boredom and baggage

I was a total social misfit and bored as fuck. My emotionally dependant boyfriend was calling me every hour even though personal calls were not allowed (we had no cellphone at that time so he had to pass through the grocery store’s phone call dispatcher every time…). What a bad impression I made! But it was so boring I almost got myself into depression.

I saved no money and gained five pounds because I was eating cheesecake during breaks in order to survive to my work shift. Absolutely no lesson learned but looking back, it just proves once again that I am made for a job with passion and action!”

Gemma Hendra

Founder

Gemsita.com

“Trying to think back to my first job is a difficult task….mainly because after dropping out of school at 16, I juggled my way through way too many different jobs to be able to remember them all!

Though not something I am proud of, quitting school at the time seemed like a logical option for me. I often feel like I made my life far more difficult by doing this, but also that it was a big lesson in making me the person I am today.

Looking back, I remember trying a million and one different jobs trying to figure out what i wanted to do! I worked as a receptionist, a trainee hairdresser, a fire juggler (not kidding) , waitress (I was the worst), a bartender, shop attendant, trainee stylist, photographers assistant, make-up artist, and the list just goes on and on. I kept that up for years and it was a very long road until I somehow ended up discovering what I really love, and that was boardsports.

Finally, through finding what I enjoy doing most, I managed to create something out of it, and waking up to work everyday feels so good and definitely not a chore! I love working on Gemsita, and feel like it’s my baby that I just want to keep growing and expanding on. I also work for the World Kiteboarding League as their media director, and for me it’s a dream come true being able to travel around the world and work doing what I love.

Some people are lucky and discover what they are good at so early in life, but it’s not always like that. Some people like me end up having to try hundreds of things in order to figure out who they are as a person and what they enjoy doing…..oh but once you find it, there is just no turning back! Once you find what nourishes you from the inside out, nothing feels better than building up your world from that.”

About the Author:

The Salty Souls team is a growing tribe of women who aren't afraid of getting wet, sweaty or salty. Who left cities and belief systems behind to build a new, epic reality on the wilder side of life. You can follow our adventures @thesaltysouls

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