What was Your First Job?

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.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. My first job was at Service Merchandise as a cashier while I was in high school. I stayed in the retail game for almost 10 years…even through and after college. My highest title held in retail was human resources manager which I both loved and hated. I learned so much from that job that I still use now in my own business…especially learning how to talk to, interview, and read others as well as conflict management.

  2. My first job was working at Publix supermarket. I started off as a bagger then worked my way up to Management position. I even quit college because I didn’t want to miss that money. I eventually went back to school and got my degree but the best job I ever had was at Publix. I loved helping people and customer service seemed to be my thing.

  3. My first job was actually where we went to summer school half day and then worked the other half. We got paid for both. I worked at a water company sending out bills. Loved my time at McDonald’s, too. Would work from six in the morn to midnight because I loved making all that minimum wage! Lol

  4. I’m with you Joyce, McDonald’s was my first job! I worked there for a year and I learned valuable skills that remain with me today. Above all, this job taught me the importance of stellar customer service with a smile, and I’ve carried my skills and my smile with me to every job I’ve had since then.

  5. i was working at a hospital

  6. My first job was at Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins. I enjoyed the job and having my own money. It gave me a taste of freedom.

  7. My first job was at McDonald’s at 14. From there I worked at multiple fast food joints, waited tables, and volunteered at the hospital. It was a great learning opportunity for me, and I will definitely encourage my children to find a part time job once they are old enough.