As a student who has just started her two year A-level course, there is now a greater understanding of the importance of precise and high quality school work, efficient and effective studying and successful grades. Our teachers have drilled into us the fact that one way to reach success in our working careers is to start with a strong base of high academic achievements, therefore increasing our chances of landing desirable jobs with many opportunities and a sizeable income.

I aimed to understand the gravity of my teacher’s messages of working hard in my academic achievements so I was able to secure a suitable job in order to achieve a high quality of work and life after I leave the educational system. In the Uk, 5% of the working population earn minimum wage with the number of workers earning the minimum wage increasing (to one in 20) and expected to make another dramatic rise by 2020. The Resolution Foundation report found that in some regions – the north-east, East Midlands and Wales – one in seven workers would be on the minimum wage by 2020. In the hospitality sector, 40% of employees will be earning the wage, while women and older workers are also particularly likely to be affected.

Therefore, I decided to find a part-time job working at minimum wage to gain experience working outside of a classroom and in a professional environment, as well as to gain insight into the experience of working at minimum wage.  In the Uk, those working under the age of 18 years of age receive a total sum of £4.20 an hour, at first I was shocked by how little the pay was and comparing it to my friends own part-time jobs I was surprised with how low these wages were. In my job, I am a waitressing for a local brunch and café micro-chain and I quickly understand that this job of waitressing involves a lot of concentration, skill and organisation. Both my boss and the customers of the café expected me to seat, serve and clean in a constant process that I continually carried out for hours on end with each individual customer. I found the job of waitressing to be challenging and nerve-raking as it forced me to be taken out of my very nurturing and supportive environment of schooling where there is little pressure when making mistakes and much of your work and your study are dictated by others.  However, waitressing taught me to take more responsibility for the work that I am doing or the work that I have yet to do, as well as take more initiative and learn to think more independent. Although the pay of the job is undesirable and low compared to the amount of work I was carrying out per hour, the experiences that this job has given me are very vital, as it gave me a lot more confidence in myself and my own capabilities and has given me insight into a working environment and working more independently.