Ask the Readers: What Was Your First Job?

By Ashley Jacobs on 13 October 2015 58 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Anna, Susan, and Kat for winning this week's contest!

One of the milestones of adulthood is getting your first job. It's where many of us got our first taste of the "real world" — working with other people that you may not like, managing our money, and handling difficult situations. Some of us started working from a young age — maybe at a family business — and some waited until after college. Either way, you probably learned a lot from your first job.

What was your first job? What lessons did you learn from this job? Do you have any memories from your first job that have stayed with you over the years?

Tell us about your first job and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, October 19th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 19th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
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  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

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Guest's picture
Mary

My first job was babysitting & it taught me how to take care of infants...I gave birth to my 4th last month.

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Julie Wood

My first job was a paper route. I had two of them!

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Gina

My first job was working as a closing shift cashier at KFC. I learned that some jobs have perks, like free food.

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Ernest S.

My first job was working for my dad at his video store. Definitely gave me perspective on the value of money!

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Renee

My first job was a summer job before college as a waitress at a casual chain restaurant (think Chili's or Applebee's). If anything, it taught me how rude some people can be to a stranger who is serving them. Most customers were nice and decent tippers, but the bad ones could really ruin your day. Since that experience, I always go out of my way to be kind and pleasant to servers and tip very well. Honestly, I think everyone should be required to have a job in the service industry when they are young if only to teach them how to treat people or rather how not to treat them! Just my 2 cents. :)

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Matt

Working as a cashier in a restaurant

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Kat

My first job was at McDonald's as a cashier when I was in high school.

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Elena

I was a babysitter when I was in college. That was my first job

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Denise L

My first job was babysitting for kids in our neighborhood. It was a pretty big responsibility - 2 kids, all day, 3 days a week when I was 12-13. I learned how much harder it is to spend money you worked for than it is to spend money given to you :)

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Emily S.

I was a bus girl at a small diner all throughout high school and college. Great money and gave me great customer service skills!

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Susan P.

My first job was babysitting and taking inventory at a hardware store. We lived in the Bahamas and you had to have a work visa which cost $500 so most teenagers babysat, washed cars or mowed lawns.

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Shayna

Serving as a poll official on election day! 12 long hours of helping folks do their civic duty.

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Julie Lundstrom

My first job was being a waitress for Pizza hut.

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Michelle D.

I worked at an after school math place similar to kumon.

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Amanda

My first job was at the car wash my dad opened when I was fifteen. When I got my first paycheck, one of the girl's who worked there with me taught me how to use layaway. I used it to buy a suit jacket - because I've always been sophisticated:)

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Blake Kaplan

I scooped ice cream at a restaurant that has 31 flavors.

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Kat Skull

My first job was working in the food service area at a nursing home. I was 14 when I started and would setup the dining hall for each patron. They had assigned seats so I knew who had food allergies and who preferred cranberry juice to orange juice with their medications. A measly $4 an hour!

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Amanda Sakovitz

My first job was a cashier at a grocery store.

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Tina in NJ

My first job was washing dishes at church after meetings. Then there was babysitting and a two-week stint as a telemarketer! Pronto Pizza lasted a little longer, but not by much.

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Jeff

My first job was working in a machine shop making various types of parts for garage door openers, trash compactors, beer taps to name just a few.

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MELISSA HANSSON

My first job was cleaning offices with my little brother. My parents got paid and then gave the money to us. I still hate to clean.

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Mary W

Like most people who were Baby Boomers, my first job was as a baby sitter. My first real daily job was as a waitress. It's still a tough job today for anyone. Former servers usually make the best tippers.

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Jennifer Marie

My first job was delivering newspapers.

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Liz

Lifeguarding

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Catseye

My first job was babysitting, but if you mean a job where you get a paycheck, I think I was working for a charitable organization (cystic fibrosis) that had me calling people listed in the phone book to ask for donations.

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Guest

My first job was being a camp counselor at my old high school after I graduated. Did that for 3 years and the last year of it, I was the lead counselor!

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caroline

I made my own jewelry and sold it at school to classmates :p

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lostAnnfound

Paper route that I started at about age 12 and had until I graduated high school. Also babysitting at that time.

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SKB

At age 16, I started working in a hospital as a nurse's aide. This led to a 40 year career as a RN.

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Abby

My first job was cleaning the home of an elderly couple from my church. I didn't even have a car yet, so my parents had to drop me off!

I learned that being a hard worker pays off. The couple doted on me for years to come; they provided me with job references and even gave me a graduation gift from high school.

Over the years I treasure the memories of my lunch breaks with the couple. Even though I was essentially their "maid," they always invited me to join them and treated me with the utmost respect.

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Bekki

My first real job was a lifeguard, I was young so I had to depend on others to get me there and back, so I learned a lot about scheduling and responsibility.

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Elena

My first job was at El Pollo Loco.

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An g

working at a movie theater serving popcorn. To this day, I can't put butter on my popcorn. It's so gross!

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Mitchell Goldstein

My first paid job was a paper route for a local free paper. I rode my bike around the area delivering the papers and got lots of exercise.

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Monique

My first job was working as a cashier at a Winn Dixie supermarket. I quickly learned that making sure customers are taken care of is challenging, but rewarding, work. I also learned that hard work and the right attitude are valuable, as I was promoted to training other cashiers and then managing the front end and customer service desk. My favorite memory is of making announcements over the store loud speaker, something I enjoyed maybe a little too much.

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Elle

I babysat for family friends and neighbors.

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J. Pario

Baby-sitting, then grunt labor on a turf grass research farm.

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R. B. A. Ross

Being a girl, babysitting was my first job, of course. Then in high school a friend of mine and I worked for a commercial cleaning company, that cleaned offices in the evenings after school.

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Miss PF

My first job was at a camp counselor. It inspired me to be a teacher!

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Olivia

My first job was taking care of a particular type of slug ("Limax") for a biology professor at Princeton University. He needed them for brain experiments and bred them in plastic boxes in a huge refrigerated room. My job involved feeding them and cleaning out their tanks. Not sure it had any impact on my future life, but it was fun hanging out with scientific types.

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Miss kim

A babysitter!

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Bethany M

It was fast food.

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Susan Smith

My first job was a waitress at a local Italian restaurant.

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Michael

My first job was working as a cashier at an electronics store.

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Lynda

my first job ever was babysitting

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Anna Pry

first job was housekeeping, paid 'under the table'. I learned that you have no guarantee of getting paid that way!

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Karen L.

First I was a babysitter. Once I was old enough, I started working at a grocery and at a pharmacy.

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Donna D

Babysitting

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Betty

As a freshman in high school, I got a job in telephone sales, trying to get people to buy aluminum siding. Everyone hung up. Turns out it was a front for illegal business!

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Joye

I was the snack shack girl at a 18 hols golf course, I loved it, read all day in the sun waiting on old men!

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Liisa R

babysitting, and i absolutely loved it!!!

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Sheryl

My first job was babysitting...

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Kristin Goodson

My first job was working at Wendy's. I learned to work hard and to appreciate the money that I worked so hard for.

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C Hui

My first job was helping neighbors and my parents around the house and doing chores and errands for them.

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Laura J

My first job was working at Ponderosa steakhouse taking orders! I also made the desserts on Saturdays and Sundays! I loved it!

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Happy Love

My first job was selling season subscriptions to the local symphony orchestra. I learned very quickly that telemarketing was not my calling.

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MelQui

Aside from babysitting, I worked at a local farm stand when I was 14.

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CF

My first job was as an intern at Morgan Stanley

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Tabathia B

My first job was at age 16 and I was employed by Hardees

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Thomas Murphy

My first job was working for my dads plumbing company