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Question: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

Frozen Sno Ball Maker

“My first job as a teenager was working in a little shed that sold thousands of finely shaved sugar ice, better known as Sno Balls. Outside of learning how to wash sugar water off of my arms and face, I learned how to be friendly, patient and helpful with customers in oftentimes hectic moments. It was a great experience in face-to-face sales and customer service.”

Car Wash Attendant

“I am so grateful to have had multiple unsexy jobs as a young person: car wash attendant, cashier, waitress, bartender and nonprofit employee. These jobs made me appreciate the difficulty of physical labor, taught me how to interact variety of people, and to value every dollar earned. I am a more compassionate human and better leader for having had these life experiences.”

Radio Station Mascot

“My first job was as a radio station mascot in Arkansas at age 17. I dressed as “Sting the bee” at live remotes, carnivals, concerts, etc. It was an amazing first job that taught me you have to ask for what you want. Once I proved my dependability and asked for more responsibility, I was quickly able to add other, non-costumed tasks — like blogging and having my own on-air shifts — to my workload.”

Seafood Prep Cook

“Working in a busy restaurant kitchen during the summers, every day I prepped hundreds of orders for flounder, shrimp and other shellfish. I was initially treated like I was useless (which I was), but I learned that I had to earn the respect and trust of my teammates by working hard and delivering results day after day.”

Newpaper Boy

“When I was 10, I started a newspaper delivery route in my hometown in New Jersey. The experience taught me how to be persistent, how to make a sale, and follow up with great customer service. Waking up before sunrise every day to organize and deliver the papers gave me discipline, foundational business skills, and the sense of responsibility that I apply to my professional outlook today. “

IT Assistant

“My first “business” consisted of me setting up networks and building computers for small businesses. I learned how to show value as a kid, how to navigate startup pains (too young to drive, no direct phone line) and how to market myself to others. Most importantly, the experience left me with a sense that I could do anything I worked hard for, and could create the job I wanted to be in.”

Radio Jockey

“When I was 14, I started working as a radio jockey at a local radio station to host a weekly live show where I used to play my favorite songs weaved into a nice story. I had to be funny, engaging and informative, and the show was live. As a radio jockey, one can’t afford to have inhibitions. I learned how to be good storyteller while making content appealing to all generations. “

Door-To-Door Salesman

“My first full-time job was selling cable TV services door-to-door. Growing up, I was a very shy kid — the type who would run to his bedroom and shut the door when company came over. So this job was quite a shock. I remember driving home crying at least once, But it was so worth it. I did it for two years, and it not only freed me of my social fears, but it also funded the launch of my company.”