This morning I was speaking with a friend of mine about the first job I had, right out of school. I was running telephone and computer cables through office blocks. I was the youngest person in the company. I was eager and willing to learn. I did everything to learn as quickly as I could. I put in some serious hours to be the very best I could be.

The remuneration wasn’t financially unrewarding. I received little more than the minimum wage. One day my concerned father passed a comment about the company taking advantage of me because I was the cheapest person on the team. He was right.

Rapidly, I found myself to be the head person for several projects. Most of the time I was working un-qualified, lacking experience and un-supervised. Not only that, but I was also leading teams of experienced people, many of them over twice my age. I was working long hours to keep up.

I would often think of the comment my father had made, “your employer is taking advantage of you”. It would often echo through my thoughts, especially on the days that were hard and frustrating. But I would retort with the view “but I am taking advantage of my employer”.

Yes, I was taking advantage of my employer. I was using this as an opportunity to get my career off the ground. I was forming good work habits. I was using this as an opportunity to learn as much as I possibly could. Financially, that employer didn’t reward me as it should have, but the money has come later as I quickly climbed the career ladder.

The challenge for me today is to question myself about how I am taking advantage of those organisations that employ me right now. My answer to that is that I am not making enough advantage as I should be. I need to get back to the way I use to work ats a 19-year-old.