November 6, 2013

Lessons from First Jobs

[Image of Dave Kerpen via LinkedIn]

Recently, LinkedIn asked a number of their influencers to share stories of their first jobs. Check out some of our favorites below:

Richard Branson First job: Entrepreneur

Branson shares how his mother’s influence shaped his journey to entrepreneurship. Learning from her, Branson from a young age used his imagination and resolve to fail fast and start a number of businesses by the time he was into his early teens. ”I made plenty of mistakes and was able to learn from them rather than spend time fretting over every little error. There was never enough time for that, it was always on to the next adventure!”

Paul Metselaar First job: Pizza delivery boy

Over 40 years later, Metselaar looks fondly back on his first job. From his story, you see that he was living in the grey at a young age. “By taking an interest in your workplace, and seeing the larger picture of how your job affects the bottom line, you can motivate yourself to achieve greatness.” Be sure to read Meselaar’s complete post for tips on how to make the most of your job.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz First job: Tobacco Prevention Educator

Believe it or not, this was a job Diaz-Ortiz did in high school. From attending community fairs to participating in police “stings,” this job is where Diaz-Ortiz learned three important things that would inform the rest of her career: “eschew tradition, find flexibility at work and have a personal passion for your work.”

Dave Kerpen First job: Stadium food vendor

In short, Kerpen’s story is pretty awesome. He goes from making $15 in one shift selling Crunch ‘n Munch to becoming a local celebrity making $400-$500 per shift. The key to his transition is summed up here: “No matter what your job title is, you can get creative, choose to see your role differently, take on new tasks, and make a huge positive impression on customers, prospects, colleagues, and bosses.”

Beth Comstock First job: Line worker at Rubbermaid

Beth’s story about being a weakling using machinery to make spatulas reminds how important social engagement is in the workplace. As we say, make your friends your colleagues and your colleagues your friends. “My coworkers could have been hard on me, but instead they took me in and taught me about teamwork. I learned how people bond around their roles on the line and establish camaraderie. Forget management, we worked hard for each other.”

What stories and lessons did you learn from your first job? How have those lessons helped you to #LiveGrey?

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