Your first job usually won’t be your dream job. Nonetheless, you never forget it. It introduces you to the working world, teaches you how to work hard for your money, and often gives you an idea of what you do and don’t want from your career.
From washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant to flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s, here’s what seven billionaires did in their first jobs:
Jeff Bezos worked behind the grill at McDonald’s.
As a teenager, Bezos started working at McDonald’s during the summer. His dad, Mike, had also worked at McDonald’s in the past.
Author Cody Teets interviewed Bezos in her book, “Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald’s,” about his experience. He said: “I was a grill man and never worked the cash registers. The most challenging thing was keeping everything going at the right pace during a rush. The manager at my McDonald’s was excellent. He had a lot of teenagers working for him, and he kept us focused even while we had fun.”
Michael Dell washed dishes at a Chinese restaurant.
The tech billionaire got his start in the restaurant business. At the age of 12, Dell worked at a Chinese restaurant washing dishes. He would later be a water boy and assistant maitre d’ at the same place. After he left the Chinese restaurant, Dell worked at a Mexican restaurant.
Oprah Winfrey was a grocery clerk.
While on a full scholarship at Tennessee University, the media mogul worked at a grocery store next to her father’s barber shop.
Michael Bloomberg was a parking attendant.
Bloomberg worked as a parking lot attendant at Harvard and Johns Hopkins universities while getting his college degree.
Financier Charles Schwab picked and sold walnuts.
Schwab took the walnuts he found in the woods and sold them in the market. He priced them at $US5 for a 100-pound sack. He would later raise chickens and sell eggs at the market. At the age of 14, Schwab got a job as a caddie at a golf course.
Warren Buffett delivered newspapers.
Buffett started delivering newspapers on his bicycle at the age of 13. During high school, he moved on to his pinball machine business.
T. Boone Pickens also had a paper route.
Pickens worked his first paper route at the age of 12 and was paid a penny a paper per day. Within five years, his route grew from 28 to 156 papers and Pickens had saved $US200.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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