How old were you when you got your first real job?

**How old were you when you started working? **
And I dont mean babysitting, or randomly mowing lawns, I mean real jobs through some sort of company – whether it be a grocery store, restaurant, or whatever else you do/did.

I am 16, and started my first real job August 1st. I feel very uh… sophisticated. Haha. Nah, it just makes me feel older and more mature. I love working at this restaurant though, and the extra money is an awesome thing.

Anyways, why did you start working at the age you were? Did you like your first job? What things did you like/dislike? What did you learn from it?

I guess my first real job would be Ames. For all you non-New Englanders, Ames was a department store that has since gone out of business. I worked there for more than two years in high school.
Before that, I worked at Safety Town, a town sponsored program that teaches kindergartners about safety. That job paid, but it was just enough to not be considered volunteer work.

My first real job was and still is being a Resident Assistant here at Northern Arizona. I’m not including seasonal work at Mervyn’s or temping at ON Semiconductor since they didn’t last nearly as long and weren’t nearly as interesting. Granted, it doesn’t pay any real money, but room and board’s pretty sweet. It’s a 24/7 job though, and the only way not to be at work is to go out of town for the weekend. However, it’s a barrel-full-of-monkeys of fun. :smiley: I think Residence Life is the best place to go after FIRST.

My first official job was an internship at the university of new mexico (i was paid through a program with nasa).

It was interesting because I got to do research and all the while i was with the same 23 students for the 8 weeks that i worked. it was a real job, i had special attire and i had a schedule and i had to take a 45 minute bus ride to get there (the joy of not having a ride…). It was great though. the pay wasn’t, the experience was.

but i must say that sometimes, internships don’t work out because of lack of access to the required equipment or simply waiting on mentors. thus, alot of time i wasn’t doing anything.

my first and current job is working on computers at my grandfathers school. their “offical” tech guy dosent show up very often. and im 16

I’m 17 and my first “real” job was this summer (last day is Monday) at BorgWarner, Inc. in Ithaca. I worked 8-5 (1 hour lunch in there) as “Co-op Tool Designer in Plant 2” (or so said the notes in my user profile)… basically, I get paid very well to learn SolidWorks 2005 by working on detailing a set & rivet machine for BorgWarner in Italy along with various other tools/parts. I enjoyed the money but hated working in an office/cubicle with no view of the outside world. Some of the tasks were repetitive. I liked the people since many knew me through robotics, but something tells me I’m not the office type. Plus, it took away a lot of time that I would spend with friends who are about to leave for college or have already gone. Instead of stuff during the day, I’m usually out to 1 or 2am and have not had nearly enough sleep for summer. But meh, just one more day :slight_smile:

Well, hm… depends if we’re counting paper routes. Yes, they’re for a company, so…

My first job was as a paper carrier for the Columbus Dispatch (the big paper in our neighborhood) when I was 14ish. Not bad money for only being an hour or so at 5:00am every day plus a couple of hours at the end of the month to collect from the few people who didn’t do the automatic charge thing and never seem to be home.

Ah. Now I remember why I quit. :wink: Actually, I didn’t quit, they wanted to save money by not having to ship the papers to the carriers, so they required carriers to be able to drive. :tear:

When I was in High School, I was not allowed to work during the school year. Justification being: “You are a student, THAT is your job.”

During the summer… was a different story.

During the summer before my Sophomore year of HS, my first job was working in the kitchen of a Dude Ranch Resort (Ridin’ Hy Ranch) as a dish washer. This sucked. So that school year I got my certification, and the next summer I was a lifeguard at the same ranch (they had a pool, and a lake).
Just a note for all you guys out there looking for jobs: If you are a lifeguard, your JOB is to watch girls. If you’re not watching, you’re not doing your job.

John always has a little bit of advice for us all :stuck_out_tongue:

My First Job, was a Soccer Ref, i used to play soccer, rather well until a knee injury prevented me from playing so every season i was in Middle School i was a ref, for the North Brunswick DHS soccer league… got 6.50 a game too…

I was 17 when I got my first job. I had bought a used car at that point, my “mechanically challenged” Dodge Omni, and I needed money to pay for it. They used to announce local jobs over the morning PA when I was in high school and one of the announcements was for an entry level position at a local body shop. So I decided why not, I like to work on cars.

I only wound up staying there a few weeks. Some things were fun like getting to drive many different vehicles when I had to detail them before delivery and when I moved them around the lot and garage as they needed to be worked on. They even gave me a small raise shortly after starting because I could drive a standard without any problems (I learned on a standard car and my Dodge was a 4 speed) unlike others they had hired. Some couldn’t drive a standard at all. There were two reasons I left, one was there were days when there weren’t any cars needing detailing and I wound up cleaning up the shop and coming home absolutely filthy. With all the sanding and repairs there was alot that needed cleaning. The second reason was the weather, here in CT it gets REALLY cold in the winter. They didn’t have a dedicated inside area for detailing so it had to be done outside, in all kinds of weather. Being out in the cold wasn’t fun but add in the fact you’re trying to wash a car with water and it was outright miserable especially when you couldn’t feel your hands after a few minutes.

After doing that I decided that I only wanted to keep working on cars as a hobby and not something I wanted to do day in and day out.

wow…i guess i got my first job earlier than most people…
i was 14. i started working at a music store, and it was boring as anything.
now im 16, and working 2 jobs: the church rectory( i get to do my homework) and the bakery(i get free food). it’s not so bad. its nice to have money lol.

My very first “real” job was as a computer programmer for the Fairfax County (Virginia) Public School System. I was hired to write an automated math tutoring system for fourth-sixth grade students, which was incorporated into the math labs in the local elementary schools. I was 15.

Years later, in grad school, my thesis research was about automated tutoring systems. Some things never change.


My first job was at 14 at the local Dairy Queen. I’d have to clean/repair the ice cream machines…I quit once the boss conviently didn’t show up to work the day of the tri-county girls soccer tournament and I had to run the store by myslef.

Since then I work at a movie theater part time (even though I work 45 hours a week)

I got a paper route right after my 12th birthday, and held it till my 18th birthday, about a week before I went off to college. It was a great job. I built it up to 180 customers, and eventually it was all in three buildings of a senior citizen housing complex. I made over $50 a week, which was great money for a kid in the early-mid 70’s - heck, I wish I had $50 a week I could spend freely right now!

The disadvantage of the job was not being able to participate in after school activities. The advantage was developing a work ethic, gaining the respect of my customers for good service, and the relationships I had with them. For many of them, especially those who were shut in, getting the newspaper was one of the high points of their day. Another perk was all the treats they baked for me, along with knitted hats, mittens, and scarves (some of them were quite ‘interesting’ :rolleyes: ). It was always a bummer when someone would be sent to a nursing home, or get cancer, or die, or lose a spouse. But I really enjoyed talking with them ( or just listening to them, they had some great stories). To this day, I feel fortunate to have known so many nice friends through it.

I was 12/13 ish when I started my first job, and worked there throughout graduating high school. In my hometown we had a Victorian Guest House Bed and Breakfast and my 7th grade school teacher was so impressed by me as a student she asked me to take on the duties as she went out at nighttime. As I got older and older, I took on more responsiabilities. Eventually, I was able to run the establishments for lengthy times while their family was away.

I used to work for a local deli when I was 9 (sweeping floors, stocking shelves) but since I only got paid in sodas, I don’t really count that as my first job. I did a paper route when I was 13 but I was so shy then, I couldn’t stand knocking on the doors to collect money, so my paper route didn’t last long. I guess I consider my real first job the one I got working in a fast food restaurant (Rax) the day after my 16th birthday.

In my family, before you were 16, you had to do chores to get an allowance. Your allowance you got to spend completely on yourself (we’re are not talking about a lot here, my allowance for doing my chore, which was doing the dishes every night, was only $10 a week). Once you turned 16, you got a job and you no longer had to do chores, however, you didn’t get a completely free ride. After 16, I didn’t have to pay rent and my parents still bought the groceries for the house, however I had to do my own laundry or pay my mom a set fee every week for her to do it. I also had to buy everything else I needed (clothes, shoes, school supplies, haircuts, school ring, etc.) or wanted (books, albums, outings with friends).

I learned a lot about budgeting my money with my first job, but I did not always stick to a budget… I was a hard worker, a good worker, but I learned that to some people this didn’t matter at the same time I learned I can’t stand unfairness. I quit my first job because the new manager favored another employee who was lazy, big time lazy, and it got to be unbearable to see her get special treatment time and time again (free meals, extra long smoke breaks, the easiest jobs, the best shifts).


My first job started Friday… :yikes:

My first job was at Sports Plus, a regional family entertainment center near my house in New York. I worked primarily as a Lasertron operator and spent some time fixing video games as well. About 6 months into the job, after I turned 18, I then began to operate and repair their iWERKS motion simulator. That has since been replaced by a roller coaster.

Some time later, I took a second job working for The Great Train Store selling toy and model trains. That company went out of business nine months after I began working there.

I was 10 when i got my first real job. My dad works at At&t doing billing stuff for customers and his 2nd job is stuffing newspapers in a factory for the Chicago Tribune every saturday morning from like 6am-1. So one saturday my dad asked if i wanted to come with him to help him…and of course my job was to stuff papers into paper then into the big chicago tribune section of the paper…so i went every saturday with him cuz i was so awsome at haha then i when i was like 10 and half i finally got my own check with my own name on it haha i stoped working there like a couple years ago but i may still come and help my dad though. yeah fun…so like 7 years ago if u ever got a chicago tribune paper…remember who stuffed it…me! haha :smiley:


Well, it’s kinda hard to decide what my first “real” job was.

The first real, non-school task I had was from 1997-1999, when I was a writer for The State newspaper’s Young Writers Staff. No money involved, but hey, when you’re in fifth grade and your name is in the paper, who cares about that?

The first could be argued as my program sales at USC home football games as part of AFJROTC, starting when I was 14. $.20 a program (later increased to $.25) adds up when you’re [strike]kicking everyone else’s butt[/strike] selling upwards of 150 a game.

Then there’s football games, which I started filming about a month later for the athletics department at Irmo. Rain or shine, cold or hot, home or away, I was on top of the press box getting the shots. And the pay for a freshman year job was great–$25 a game, plus a reasonable dose of caffeine.

The first time I punched a clock, however, was just before my junior year of high school, when I was 16. I worked at the Irmo Piggly Wiggly as a [strike]bagger[/strike] courtesy clerk, making a lovely $5.50 an hour.