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Why your very first job can give an added boost to your career

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Thursday, 07 November 2019. Posted in Insight, Analysis

Skills you learn in a job can be transferrable, but what matters is whether you know how to adapt and apply them throughout your career.

Why your very first job can give an added boost to your career

Skills you learn in a job can be transferrable, but what matters is whether you know how to adapt and apply them throughout your career.

Working in a team, communicating with people and building a network are essential in every role. But is it possible to develop these skills early on in life? One businessman has taken it back to the basics, showing how essential skills developed at your very first job can give you a head start to your career.

Jamal Edwards MBE, an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of £8 million online urban music platform, SB.TV, spent a day to work alongside staff at his local McDonald's branch in Acton, learning about the unexpected skills and qualities employees develop in their roles.

This comes as part of the “Made At McDonald’s” campaign, which aims to shed a light on the opportunities and skills that a first job, part time job, or lifelong career at McDonald’s can provide employees.

Throughout his experience working in the fast-food branch, Jamal was surprised to find how each role provided employees the chance to learn a different skillset which he believes are transferrable to any profession.

“Having started my own business at 15, I know what it’s like to have to quickly learn new skills in your first job that end up becoming essential no matter what you end up doing," Jamal said. "With McDonald’s being one of the biggest employers of young people in the UK, I was intrigued to find out more about the roles on offer and the skills you acquire from working there.

“I was definitely surprised by how many varied roles are on offer at each restaurant, and with a supportive management structure, each team member learns a suite of skills that will be transferable to a host of future career opportunities.”

From basic workplace skills like teamwork and time management, to more specific business competencies like managing budgets, teams and schedules, McDonald’s offers employees a the opportunity to develop skills that they can apply to their next job. 

The “Made At McDonald's” campaign is supported by several well-known celebrities, sports players and even Olympians, who started their career working at the fast-food restaurant. These include Olympian and ex-England player Kelly Smith, Premier League footballer Chris Basham and former star of Channel 4’s Tattoo Fixers Jay Hutton.

Rather than relying solely on work experience, employers usually look for abilities and qualities candidates can demonstrate into their role. Therefore, it is vital that job seekers develop transferrable skills early on in their careers, such as a good work attitude, initiative and integrity, that can be incorporated into any role across all industries.


About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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