First Jobs of 51 Successful People

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Everybody started somewhere! In fact, almost everyone who has achieved fame and fortune often had very small beginnings (and many of them are actually famous failures!) Check out the first jobs of these famous names:

1. Sir Alex Ferguson – He spent the first six years of his working life as a toolmaker.
2. Vin Diesel – Bouncer.
3. Sir Richard Branson – When he left school to start a magazine called ‘Student’ his headmaster said “Branson you will either become a millionaire or go to jail” (he has done both).
4. Michael Jordan – His first job was in a hotel and it lasted a week.
5. Donald Trump – Collected rent from tenants for his father who owned various properties.
6. Madeline Albright – Worked in a department store selling bras.
7. Gene Simmons – Newspaper delivery boy.
8. Bono – Gas station attendant.
9. Al Pacino – He got fired from his first job as a cinema usher.
10. Mariah Carey – Hat checker (she got fired).
11. Anthony Hopkins – Clerk in a steel foundry.
12. Stephen King – Janitor.
13. Coolio – Firefighter.
14. Elvis Presley – Truck driver.
15. Jim Carrey – Janitor in a tire factory, security guard.
16. Robin Williams – Ice-cream scooper.
17. Jennifer Aniston – Telemarketer.
18. Warren Beaty – Rat catcher.
19. Harrison Ford – Carpenter.
20. Marlon Brando – Ditch digger.
21. Michael Caine – Dishwasher.
22. Tom Hanks – Popcorn and peanuts vendor.
23. Madonna – Worked at a Dunkin Donuts.
24. Clint Eastwood – Pool boy, gas station attendant.
25. Brad Pitt – Dressed as a giant chicken for a Mexican restaurant.
26. Ellen Degeneres – Cleaned cars.
27. Denzel Washington – Worked at a local barbershop when he was 11 years old.
28. Lucy Lawless – Grape picker.
29. Bill Gates – Congressional page in the Washington State Capitol.
30. Michael Dell – Dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant.
31. Rod Stewart – Grave digger.
32. Mick Jagger – Porter in a mental hospital.
33. Michael Douglas – Gas station attendant.
34. Bob Geldof – Slaughterman.
35. Russell Crowe – Waiter.
36. Helen Mirren – Worked at an amusement park.
37. Simon Cowell – A runner at a film studio, then got promoted to the post room.
38. Chris Tarrant – Teacher.
39. Jean-Claude Van Damme – Bouncer.
40. Nicolas Cage – Sold popcorn at a theatre.
41. Julia Roberts – Worked in an ice cream shop.
42. Sting – Teacher.
43. Johnny Depp – Phone salesman for branded pens.
44. Annie Lennox – Worked in a bookshop.
45. George Clooney – Sold men’s suits and shoes, worked in department store stockrooms, cut tobacco, worked construction and cleaned a theater.
46. Hugh Jackman – Clown.
47. Chris Rock – Busboy.
48. Mr T – Bouncer.
49. Quentin Tarantino – Video store clerk.
50. Danny DeVito – Hairdresser in his sister’s salon.
51. Keanu Reeves – Janitor.

Disclaimer: I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this, I just pieced it together by googling so take it with a grain of salt, but you get the idea.

Images: Wikipedia

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2 Comments

  1. Are You Keeping Yourself Poor? | The Way of Money on February 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    […] or lack qualifications – but countless men and women have already demonstrated many times that it is possible to overcome all these and achieve success if only you have the right mindset, attitude and beliefs, for that is the seed that will set things […]



  2. The fine line in storytelling | Response Crafting on February 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    […] works particularly well for things like this. (e.g., Stephen King and Jim Carrey both used to be janitors, J.K. Rowling was contemplating suicide when she wrote Harry Potter for her kids. There […]



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