What It Takes to Get Ahead

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

Perseverance in times of adversity will take you far.

The Sears at Northlake Mall closed and we got one of their part-time employees as a result. You may have met Donna, she works at Finders Keepers Fashions and I’ve already received rave reviews from many of you. She also works full time as a teacher and insists on working Saturdays and Sundays and one evening a week if possible. She has the work ethic of a generation known for doing whatever it takes to get ahead. Even after she’s worked all day or all week, she never stops hustling during her Finders Keepers shifts. She’s a gem.

Many twenty and thirty-somethings are living at home because they just can’t afford living on their own, I know because my extended family is no exception. Their current jobs cannot afford them a nice apartment, cell phone coverage, and money to eat out regularly when they have car payments and student loan debt. I have often suggested the option of a second job, like waitressing or bartending, part-time retail work or driving for Uber or Lyft. Perhaps find a roommate or two in a safe but not-so-fancy apartment complex? Their response is usually that they don’t want to work a second job or live with a roommate and why would they when living at home is so lovely…and free?

My husband often worked a second job in the early years of our marriage and though I stayed at home with the children for several years, I had several small part-time jobs that paid for groceries. Whatever I made was the grocery budget that week and we rarely ate out. We learned a lot in the lean years, our version of our parents’ Great Depression which I realize pales in comparison because I grew up in very good economic times which lasted until I graduated from college (and I’ll save that story for another time).

My intention for this post was to share some information I recently read in the Wall Street Journal about Sears titled “The Rise and Fall of an American Icon” with a timeline of major events. But that too is a post for another time. I think what must be on my mind is the number of part-time jobs that are going unfilled all over this town while well- educated young people wait for better times to go out on their own. The reality is we make our own “better times” by doing what it takes to get what we want. Time’s a-wastin’ and so much is learned when we’re on our own, working jobs that may not be what we want to do forever but can add tools (maybe even Craftsmen tools) to our toolboxes, making us that much more valuable in the workforce marketplace.

The working world is a marketplace and those with the most skills, the most experience and the most hustle shine above all the others and get what they want. It takes hard work, desire to get ahead and eagerness to show up and shine and we are all capable to muster up these characteristics if we want to. The question is, “Do we want to?”

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