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These 30 First Jobs Prove That Career Growth Isn't Linear

We recently asked people to tell us on LinkedIn what their first jobs were. Here are 30 examples of people's first jobs.  It’s clear that no matter what a person’s title is, they had to start from somewhere.

Some themes: careers are not linear, your first job can teach you a lot, and it’s nice to reflect on what your first jobs were.

  1. “Working for a family friend's law firm. Actually it was babysitting their kids when I was in 6th grade.” - Adam, SEO/Copywriting
  2. “When I was 7 or 8 I started going on plumbing jobs with my dad.”  - Amanda G, CEO and Founder
  3. “From ages 12 to 14 I worked at TCBY (the yogurt chain)” - Keegan, VP of Marketing
  4. “I was a day camp counselor and I loved it.” - Lauren, Senior Talent Manager
  5. “I babysat from high school through college saving every penny I could to pay college tuition.” - Melissa, Supply Chain Leader
  6. “I worked at Pizza Hut taking phone orders and making boxes. To this day, I can make and break down boxes at record speed.” - Julia, Director of HR
  7. “I was planning and running a birthday party for a 5 year old. I was 15.” - Amrapali, Customer Experience
  8. “Mowing lawns to buy a surfboard in 5th grade!” -  Hannah, Manager of Customer Success
  9. “I worked at a local Deli from 14 to 20. The single most important job of my career. It built character and work ethic.” - Greg, Founder
  10. “My first-ever job was hauling hay at 11. I got $0.05 for each bale stacked. My first adult job was the US Navy.” - Darrell, Process Improvement
  11. “My first paying job was a neighborhood babysitter at 12.” - Michelle, Multi-Platform Promotional Strategy
  12. “I mowed and babysat nine month old twins. for every dollar we put in the bank, my dad matched it.” -  Lauri, Leadership Education
  13. “ I was a cashier/receptionist at a car dealership. I don't know how they trusted a 15 year-old with that level of responsibility 😅” - Cristina, UI/UX Engineer
  14. “Started out working as a soccer referee for local parks around 14.” - Cole, Project Coordinator, Global Events
  15. “A part-time cashier at my dad's children's clothing factory. It sparked my passion and love for fashion.” - Sabrina, Senior Marketer
  16. “I work at a local hospital in Alabama as a clerk on the cardiac floor.” - Michael, Sales and Customer Service
  17. “The Boston Market (Boston chicken back then) as a cashier. Most of the money went to senior dues and prom.” - Zenzi, Back End Developer
  18. “I was 16 years old, I worked on a construction site shingling roofs and cleaning up.” - William, Client Relations Manager
  19. “I worked in a pizzeria managing the phone/deliveries as a cashier at the age of 12. I started asking the owner if they had openings at 8 years old. It's a good reminder that perseverance can open doors so sometimes you have to keep knocking.” -  Matthew, HR Manager
  20. “I worked at the local mall in a department store when I was in high school.” - Jayashree, UX Designer
  21. “I used to work at good old Dunkin Donuts.” - Norhan, Program Manager
  22. “My first job was to take care of show dogs and do landscaping for a neighboring family.” - Michael, Talent Acquisition
  23. “I worked part-time folding clothes at Gap. Never did I think a part time gig in college would lead to a 20-plus year career in various roles and an international move.” - Kristin, Project Manager
  24. “I was 13 years old and worked weekends as a merry-go-round operator at a small amusement park.” - Ron, Owner
  25. “Ben & Jerry's at 14!” -  Joolie, Recruiter
  26. “I swept floors and stock shelves at a local Garden Center.” - Jonathan, Enablement Manager
  27. “My jobs from age 13 to 22: Babysitter, Gap salesperson, summer day camp counselor, college’s annual fund caller, summer overnight camp counselor, English teacher in Taiwan, historic house tour guide, and barista.” -  Johanna, Director of Employer Engagement
  28. “My first job was at a day care center.”- Johnny, Analyst
  29. “I used to help my parents sell gift items and work the register during the holidays at the local mall.” - Satya, Director of Career Services
  30. “I performed at kids birthday parties as a magician for hire when I was in elementary School then I started a small retail operation in Middle School. The freelance DNA runs deep.” - Matthew, Emmy Award Winner 

Your title today doesn't dictate your chances for growth in the future. Keep growing.

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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