What was your first job?


Yep. It’s become ridiculous and there’s no support for poor folk to get those certificates for basic jobs. Our government used to support that sort of study, but of course they ripped funding out of it and the people who would do certificate training courses can’t afford it anymore.

But the big supermarkets have benefited massively because the government will let them hire people for $3 an hour ‘internships’ to work in A SUPERMARKET for 6 months (It’s nice to be paid less than the cost of one muffin sale). Then you’re out on your own again without the experience needed to get another job, and they can just hire another cheap worker.

The nice thing about being over here in China and teaching English is that there is actually demand for teachers, so at least I have some protection and ability to negotiate since my employer actually needs me to stay, and there’s always plenty more offers on the table. (Though the HR department is also pretty rotten when you want to leave)


My very first paying job was being a camp counselor at age 14 for a camp I had gone to for 5 years. I learned it’s way better to be a camper (at least for me) :joy:. Before that though I helped my mom with her business and household management stuff from the time I was 6.

In high school I interned at a Vet’s office and helped at my mom’s business over the summers.

In college I interned at an architecture firm, then an interior design firm over the summers, then worked in a coffee shop during school.

Out of school I got my realtors license and trident that for 6 months and hated it, then got a great job at a wonderful boutique design and furniture store which was a fabulous place to build confidence and knowledge and get the satisfaction of really helping people make decisions about what furniture and design will work for them in their homes. It was a great overall learning experience because I had to call clients, manufacturers, do sales, register, you name it.

Then I went back to school for architecture and have been practicing for 6+ years.

My husband has severe anxiety and has had trouble finding jobs. He keeps those he finds but the getting hired part has been an issue over the years.

The biggest thing I can say is that you have to find the courage to do those things that’s you’re afraid of. Start with making uncomfortable calls, practice with your family and friends for interviews. The more you do it the easier it gets and the fact that I basically started when I was really young. But I still find that I avoid things I am anxious about with work. It’s just a normal part of life.
Find some way to get yourself over the hump, whether it’s rejection therapy where you basically go around asking people for ridiculous things so they’ll tell you no and it helps you become accustomed to it, or CBT or just reading some self-compassion books. Or even medication if necessary.
Just remember that everyone is as stuck in their own world as you are so if you can get away from worrying what other people think of you then I find it really helps with the anxiety.
Also FYI, nobody has their stuff figured out. Ever. So never feel bad that you don’t either. Just try to become comfortable with not knowing.


Dishwasher. 1992-1993. 18 and 19 respectively.


First paid job… I worked as a PI, with an old retired military guy…
It’s not all that you can see in films or read in books, it involved a lot of desk work and work over the phone…
And mainly, the job was to retrieve assets from people for the banks (our customers) to take over… Sad and gloomy job, I can tell you. You see the bad side of people, and there are really cruel ones that exist on this Earth…

At first, I couldn’t find many job (that I’d like to do), because I went through studies that bring not many life experience… then this job of PI cam in, and I thought, Why Not?

After a year, it was boring and hard on my conscience… so I switched to something else… more manageable, went back to study and… couldn’t get hired either :smiley: So, I started getting freelance job, and since it is all about being a mercenary in the consulting field for me. If I don’t find a contract, I got no pay, but then, I can decide what I want to work on… and when… Though most of the time, I can not be too picky :slight_smile:

Regarding social anxiety… I’m more introvert than anything, and I had the chance to have someone with me who pushed me to do things outside of my comfort zone. It’s really hard on the mind at first, but when you see you are able to do something you thought you’d never be able to, then it gets easier with time… Doesn’t mean I like to do most of the things I have to in order to work and live… But, at least, I know I can do it now…


I had a beat-up Laser Radial (very basic little sailboat) that I kept in shed near a yacht club in Auckland, NZ. Being intrigued by boats, I’d wander around looking for people working in the yard and ask them questions. Pretty often, they’d ask me to lend a hand, holding the end of a plank or holding a port frame in place while they dogged it down. No pay, except what I learned.

Eventually, I got asked to help with bigger jobs on a regular basis. Instead of pay, I’d ask for a tool, nothing costly, but a favourite for usefulness. After a year or so, I’d learnt heaps and had a nice bag of tools. Then, I started working on yachts for pay, with a meal thrown in now and then.

I also got invited to crew in races and cruise on larger yachts. So it turned out rather well.


Oh man, so many jobs. I was what I suppose you would call ‘zero hours contracted’ these days. I was a gardener, then a greengrocer assistant (I lugged bags of potatoes). I had one summer where I destroyed furniture with a sledgehammer (that was a great summer). I painted dorms and smoked pot through university. I poured concrete straight outta picking up my degree. My first contracted job was with Yahoo! (remember them). Some of my contemporaries are now tech rich kids out in San Fran. I worked for the probation service. I spent two years herding teenagers with autism (I lost count of the amount of times I was bitten). I worked with reprobate young offenders by throwing them into bramble bushes. Now I manage woodlands. It’s pretty sweet. I get to cut shit down with a chainsaw.


Other than pet sitting and baby sitting, my first job was at a small pet store.

It was a nightmare.


My first and only job was in a Goodwill. I don’t count my brief stint working for my aunt as her assistant maid servant. Although I do prefer that experience over Goodwill.

My boss at Goodwill was a womanizing Paganophobe, with a penchant for docking people’s paychecks if you complained about his unfair treatment, if he finds out you did it through a supposedly anonymous complaint form.


Paganophobe— never heard that before. It’s good.

After coming back to the ‘States and starting uni, I looked for outdoor jobs and got lucky: firefighting, backcountry rangering, and wilderness monitoring (science fieldwork).

I get pretty crazy cooped up indoors when it’s hot and sunny out.


I think we’d get on. That (minus the firefighting but with more anti-social behaviour) is kinda what I do. Although we don’t really have any wilderness.


Fighting forest fires is often miserable work: dirty, hot, exhausting, and occasionally scary. But with hazard and overtime pay, I made so much money that it seemed worthwhile.

Glad I’m not doing it now. The fires have gotten worse and they move faster. One burned quite near our house this summer and I had to cancel a holiday to evacuate.


Thankfully we don’t really do forest fires in the UK, it’s like trying to set fire to wet asbestos


Whenever I read this thread, I keep reading it as “You had this one job…”


We do do moor fires though.


my first job was working in a restaurant in the salad production line which was located in the cellar. I spent all day stuffing my face with cold meats and Club biscuits! I don’t know how I managed to stay at 7 and a half stone!


My first job was at a warehouse. Then I transitioned to a thrift store.


My first job was at a nursing home working as a nurse assistant. It was definitely hard, but I want to go in the med field so it was great for that.


My first true job was at a Walgreens. I hated it and retail sucks.


I sold used jeans out of the back of a van. I was underage but the guy didn’t care… LOL


Cleaning services. I biked to elderly people’s homes to clean or do groceries together (they lived up to 5 miles away). Some had a form of dementia, some had physical issues. Usually, they wanted to chat just as much as have me clean, though. I was 15.