Back in 2010, I worked at Walmart during breaks in between college semesters. It wasn’t my first job. I had three summers of “day camp counseling” by the time I graduated high school, but those were not “real jobs”.

I worked night shift from 10pm - 7am in my hometown. Walmart became a strange “jail” of sorts to me. Roughly eight hours of mindless stocking of shelves, very little human interaction, and a couple short breaks here and there. It was maddening, and developed into one of the biggest impetuses to push my career. If you feel stuck in a similar rut, there are ways out.

Real life depiction of me in 2010.

I filled my break time reading books, while sipping on my coffee. I ended up reading a great book that provided me with one of my first real “side projects”. What I’m suggesting is not to just read books, but fill your spare time at work with something useful!

While I didn’t exactly enjoy my time at Walmart, I’m glad I worked there. It was a humbling experience that provided me with the extra work ethic I needed to become the engineer that I am today.