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First Jobs of The Famous and Not-so-famous

At 5:00 this morning, I was driving my oldest son to his part-time job at McDonald’s and it got me thinking about my first job.

My oldest son, who is fifteen has been working at McDonald’s for a year and a half now.  He works hard and always has the early shift on the weekends.  When he is grown and has a career and maybe a family, this will always have been his first job.  He will remember setting his alarm on Saturday and Sunday mornings to wake up before the sun was out, cleaning tables, scraping pickles off the glass that rowdy kids had throw on it for a lark, funny drive-thru orders, and memorable customers.

My first job was as a banquet waitress at a hotel.  It was hard work and long hours with lots of interaction with people who were usually in good moods and I loved it.  I worked weddings, graduations, baby showers, bridal showers, bar mitzvahs, conventions, and company Christmas parties. 

My husband’s first job was at his family’s mushroom farm.  Mushrooms grow in manure among other things, so it was a stinky job and physically demanding, but it was what he had grew up around and had its moments of fun.

This all had me thinking about what other people’s first jobs were.  Here are some that I find interesting:

Garth Brooks was a shoe store salesman.

Julia Roberts was a clerk at an ice cream shop.

Jim Carrey took a job as a security guard and janitor at a tire factory when his dad lost his job.

Matthew McConaughey used to clean out chicken coops.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and one of the new American Idol judges started earning his money at a bakery. 

Denzel Washington used to sweep hair at a barbershop.

Financial guru Suze Orman bussed tables for her first dollars.

Legendary actor Clint Eastwood was a pool boy.

Madonna worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Brad Pitt dressed as a giant chicken for Mexican restaurant El Pollo Loco.

Actress Amy Adams used to be a Hooters girl.

President Barack Obama’s first job had him scooping ice cream at a Baskin Robbins.

Mariah Carey couldn’t make the cut at her job as a hat checker.

Robert Pattinson showed his entrepreneurial spirit when he started a paper route at the age of 10.

Novelist Stephen King worked at a dry cleaner to pay the bills before his first novel sold.

Rod Stewart was a grave digger.

Eva Longoria worked at Wendy’s for her first job.

Country superstar Carrie Underwood was working as a gas station cashier before she got her break on American Idol.

Kanye West started earning his money working at the Gap.

Jennifer Aniston was a telemarketer before her rise to fame.

Gwen Stefani worked at Dairy Queen before her band No Doubt became popular.

And some started at McDonald’s, just as my son is doing.  Among those whose first jobs were also at the fast food burger joint are Rachel McAdams, Pink, Keenan Wayans, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, and Seal, who only lasted 2 weeks before quitting.

The thing about first jobs is that we all have to start somewhere and we can learn the importance of hard work, determination, and the value of a dollar almost anywhere.  Where you start in life doesn’t determine where you will end up.  So now that my curiosity about first jobs is piqued, let me ask, where was your first job?

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  1. Stephen Cardiff

    On January 30, 2011 at 11:25 am


    Very Interesting I didnt know most of these….

  2. Elvin Aliyev

    On January 30, 2011 at 11:32 am


    inspiring :D

  3. CanIgetMyPrivacyBackPlease

    On January 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm


    Truly amazing!

  4. The Quail 1957

    On January 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm


    Awesome article! Many of the famous actors as well as others have started their first jobs in places like Wendy’s Mc Donalds etc.

  5. djbtol

    On January 30, 2011 at 7:26 pm


    Glad your son is off to a good start.

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