5 Things I Wish I Knew During My First Job

I may not remember what I wore last week, what I ate for lunch yesterday or even all the lyrics to Justin Bieber’s song Sorry, but if there’s one thing forever etched into my memory, it’s the day I got my very first job.

It was Halloween, and like most 16-year-old’s I was dressed in my not-so-creative store bought race car driver costume, ready to spend the night with friends at a house party. Just as I was about to head out the door, the phone rang, I picked it up, and my life was forever changed. Well as much as a part-time job at the mall could change it. After sporadically walking into an open job fair and bumbling away about how I’d make a great sales associate, I actually got the gig! I accepted the offer that day not knowing I’d spend the next five years working in that retail store, and eventually move on up to their head office after graduating university.

Getting your first job is certainly a big deal and sometimes the excitement and awe of working can make you forget certain rules and rights that you’re entitled to. Looking back there are a lot of things I would’ve done differently, so today I’m sharing 5 things I wish I knew during my first job.

1. It’s okay to say no to your boss.
I remember being so eager to impress my boss no matter what toll it would have on me or stress it would cause me. My boss was the nicest lady, but since I was one of the youngest employees at my store, with my only previous experience being hanging my own clothes in my closet when my mom yelled at me to do so, I really wanted to make a great first impression and prove to everyone that I could not only do the job, but do it great. Impressing your boss is a good thing, but it’s important to know when to draw the line. I’d agree to take on extra shifts which would force me to work 7 days straight. Balancing these full-time hours while being a student made me feel extremely tired and overworked. It’s important to remember that you have the right to refuse work, such as overtime hours or even a dangerous task, especially when it comes to putting your health at risk.

2. But listen to the rules they enforce.
My boss didn’t get to the position she was at by chance, she had years of experience so she definitely knew what she was doing. I remember that my coworkers and I would shrug off and ignore a lot of rules put in place, like not stepping on shelves to reach products. Those shelves weren’t sturdy, let alone strong enough to support the weight of a human, but it was easier than going all the way to the backroom to get the ladder. Only now do I realize how dangerous that was and how badly we could have been hurt.

3. Don’t do something just because everyone else does it.
It’s easy to forget you’re breaking rules, when everyone else is doing so too. There were a lot of times when I wouldn’t request my 15 or 30 minute break because no one else was, even though my feet were killing me. The store may have been busy, but being able to rest for a couple minutes wasn’t only necessary but was my right. Other times I’d find myself lifting boxes that may have been okay for our stock boys but were way too heavy for me. Because let’s face it, I definitely do not lift, bro. Everyone has different strengths, weaknesses and capabilities so know yours and don’t go beyond them. The workplace is not where you want to be taking risks.

4. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
When it came to talking to my coworkers, who let’s face it after spending up to 8 hours a day together quickly became my friends, we’d have so many complaints/ideas to improve the workplace but we never brought it up to our manager. It’s kind of hard to make change when the boss doesn’t know change is needed. As cashiers we would always say how having stools or chairs would help our tired feet and backs, and now that I think about it, if we suggested it to our manager back then she might have fulfilled our request!

5. Appreciate it!
Once the excitement and awe of that new job faded, there were many days where I just wished I was Trust Fund kid who didn’t have to work. But working a part-time job gave me more than just money to spend on clothes and food, it gave me experience, new friends, and taught me a lot of values, lessons and importance of hard work and integrity. Looking back, I definitely appreciate the opportunity and can see how it has led me to where I am today.

This post was published in partnership with Parachute Canada, be sure to check out safe4life.work for more info about workplace safety.

Weird Summer Life Hacks Tested!

I can seriously never get sick of life hack videos. Which is a good thing because I swear every Youtuber and their mother has created one! So I figured it’s about time I jump on this train and create my own. And while I was looking for some super cool new unique life hacks that no one has ever heard of (yes, I attempted to do the impossible) I came across some very interesting… okay they were just plain WEIRD life hacks that I haaaad to test out! And so a new video was born…er, created! Enjoy! 😀

Started As A Blogger, Now I’m Here

…asked no one ever.

But like, if you stumble across this blog and see that the last post was back in March, you probably think one of those horrible things that make up the plot of horror/thriller/Liam Neeson movies happened to me, or you added my list to a long list of wannabe bloggers who gave up because they never received a free Triangl bikini.

So I’m here to let you (hey, mom!) know that I am alive and well and also that I do not give up (at least 22% of the time).

…still asked by no one ever, but I’m gonna answer it for my 46 year old self to look back and read about.

Well I quit my job to backpack Europe for three weeks (you’ll hear more about that later). But basically I cheated on blogging and fell in love with it’s step-sibling vlogging. That’s right, I’ve joined the Youtube side. They had cookies! (the good kind).

But in all seriousness, the reason this blog has been abandoned like a haunted house is because I’ve been putting all the free time I have left after successfully binge watching all three season of The Mindy Project, into creating Youtube videos!

The content still focuses on all things lifestyle, but I find it to be waaaay more engaging than a simple blog post. I enjoy it, viewers (seem to) enjoy it, so I’m not jumping off this Youtube train yet. Plus in the short time I’ve been on it and with the very few videos I’ve uploaded, I’ve seen a response so incredible response I couldn’t have imagined (wow, the cheese is real for that one line).
Picture 246

I’m 21 videos in (and like a good 3 or 4 are pure garbage) and yesterday I reached a milestone of ten freakin’ thousand subscibers. I know in the world of Youtube my 10, 000 is like a small town in America where everyone knows everyone’s name, ancestry and business, compared to the huge metropolitan sized army big Youtuber’s  have with their hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of subscribers. But for a noob like me, I think it’s a pretty big deal so let me celebrate with an ice cream cone.

One of my videos reached 87, 000 views and counting (who knew people would want to watch me talk about my bathing suits?) and people have been like really, really nice in the comments. No haters yet, phew.
Picture 245

But the best thing about this whole Youtube journey? Being contacted by the one and only Much, a Canadian media powerhouse I’ve only been obsessed with since I was a preteen. I have no clue how they came across my tiny channel (back then I only had around 4k subscribers) but the rest is history and I’m now proud to say I’m an official Much Creator (which is basically the next best thing to a VJ). So what can you expect? More content from me, featured on much.com (*screams internally*), and apparently some other cool opportunities in the future. So far, they’ve made me into a GIF. Looking kinda derpy, but that’s besides the point. I’M A GIF GUYS.
naomi leanage

So yeah, that’s about it for this update. I’ve been keeping this whole Youtube thing on the down low, with only a very, very, few close friends knowing about. Hence, why I chose the Youtube channel name Naomi Elle (Elle as in L as in L for Leanage). I’m still shy about putting myself out there on the internet and having people I know in real life see my stuff, so for now, this is a little secret only you and I know about. And of course any creepers who google my name.

xo Naomi