When I turned 14, I couldn’t wait to get a New York working permit so I could get my first job. I worked at the local McDonald’s for three years and had a great time hanging out with my friends from high school.
When I turned 17, I got sick of the greasy feeling I had when I came home from a day at McDonald’s everyday. I applied for my first job in retail and worked at Macy’s during the holiday season. What shocked me was the number of men who asked me to try on coats and jackets for their wives or girlfriends. They all thought I wore the same size as the special woman in their lives. The Macy’s job ended right after the New Year.
I stayed home for college and commuted to Hofstra University about 20 miles from my parents home, so I had more of a flexible schedule. I wanted to work in an office setting and applied for a job I saw in the local “penny saver newspaper” (Yes, this was way before Craigslist). I got hired as a “secretary” for an insurance agent, but I was really a telemarketer. Keep in mind this was back in the 90’s before the internet was used for marketing.
My job was to use the phone book to call homes in select neighborhoods, tell them our agent would be nearby visiting clients and see if he could stop by. Amazingly, it worked pretty well. People booked appointments. People bought policies for the whole life insurance the agent was offering. I made an hourly wage and eventually got paid commission as well.
Working as a telemarketer for two years taught me great phone etiquette, how to overcome objections and how to accept rejection. These skills helped me as a TV news reporter too when I made a lot of calls to set up interviews. I had to gain someone’s trust and convince them that going on-camera to share what they knew or experienced would help someone who watched the story.
What was your first job?
Did you help people find a product/service they needed or wanted?
Disclosure: This post is presented by Genworth Financial
where you can learn more about mortgages and planning ahead for your family’s future.
All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.