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Paper Lion: What I Learned From a Day Job

In the book, Paper Lion the author (George Plimpton) goes to the Detroit Lions training camp as a quarterback to better experience the NFL and then write about it. Earlier this year I took a job at a package sorting center to see what it was like to wake every day at 5:00 am and work for $17.00 and hour. It was eye opening. I forced myself to do it for six months—and this was on top of all of my other work. I experienced a lot of things I didn’t expect.I really liked and bonded with my co-workers and It was oddly satisfying to get the job done right each day. As expected, I was exhausted and making minimum wage is not enough to live on. I was also happy to see the ideas in my books and blog really work. I was only one person, but I was able to make difference by being positive, personable, proactive, and creative. Job swapping or shadowing someone for a day or two (I believe) is very helpful to truly understand what they do and go through. In the end we become much more empathetic when we experience what they do.

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