My first job was at McDonald’s Drummoyne and I was the drive-through girl. I was 14 years and nine months old.
Everything was new to me and when you’re young, it’s all an experience. At the end of the day, it was an opportunity to earn money, have fun and be out and about in the big, bad world. It’s all experience and it’s all opportunity to grow as a person.
There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about it. It’s the same as my day-to-day life now – you can be a smart person, like everything you do and take everything as a lesson and an experience. Don’t worry about what you don’t like.
There isn’t anything I’d say now in my job now that I don’t like. Everything’s an opportunity and everything makes you smarter and a better person. That’s been my method and my thinking since I was 14.
I saved really hard and used all my savings to buy an apartment when I was 21. I was a good saver, I didn’t go out and blow away all my money on Saturday nights or anything like that. You’ve got to think long term, not short term.
Because I’d been working since I was 14, it gave me ample time to be able to earn a 10 per cent deposit for a nice place. So that’s what I did. Buying my own home was my aim.
Investing in things is always going to make you a rich person, not just financially, but mentally. It’s quite important and I think a job does that for you. It gives you the experience, it also gives you the opportunity and the opportunity for me was property.
I was working at McDonald’s for two years. The more you’re around people who are working, the more experience you have from a young age. The better you are as an employee. Obviously McDonald’s is a very well known business for being run impeccably well with all of its policies and procedures. It can’t be rivalled. I suppose my experience there shaped me – it was certainly the beginning.
I think anyone who takes a job from a young age is very motivated.
My parents were proud of me getting into the workforce early and I would encourage my daughter Pixie to do the same. The moment you can get a job – get out there and do it. Life’s about learning, journeys and bettering yourself. If you don’t have experiences under your belt, you become a very boring person.
Jacenko’s second novel The Rumour Mill is out now, published by Allen & Unwin.