There are two great articles in the FT regarding enduring lessons learnt from six entrepreneurs’ and a journalist’s first jobs. Julie Rusciolelli has also talked before talked about the lessons she learnt from working in McDonald’s as a teenager.
My first job at 15 (I lied about my age!) was going door to door trying to persuade people they needed a free inspection of their outside walls. I guess that this was technically “lead generation” for the real sales people who would shake these unsuspecting home owners for some sort of god awful cladding. I’m happy I was awful at it and left after three days.
However, I did learn persistence when cold calling and the importance of making a good first impression.
Working in a bar taught me the value of customer service (with a smile, naturally); while working in a stereo store taught me that you need to know and love your product in order to properly sell it. Working at both simultaneously (9am – 11:30pm) also taught me a real work ethic which has served me well throughout my career.
What did your first job teach you?
UPDATE – love all the comments below but the real discussion and value being added to this post is over on the Brazen Careerist site where this was a featured post. Please check it out. If you’re a Brazen Careerist reader, why not become an Ed Lee fan?