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My First Job--Jerry Springer and others
3/17/2017

“My First Job”—Interview Series

New stories of successful people added every week. Come back weekly to check them out. Use their stories to help you land a job too.

36. Dad’s advice key to Marve Frazier’s success in entertainment

Marve Frazier


 

 

 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Marve Frazier, Moguldom Media Group Chief Creative Officer, and Bossip.com CEO, shares how her father’s advice and mentorship at a young age contributes to her success today and offers tips to young adults who seek inspiration in their present job hunt.
 

35. Part-time gig leads Orange County native Kelly Burke to success in DRTV

Kelly Burke-IDR Productions 


 

 

 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Kelly Burke, Founder/CEO and Creative Director of IDR Productions, a direct response television/video production company (DRTV) in Orange County, California, shares how a part-time job launched her career in the direct response industry, how the category has evolved through the years and offers advice for young adults today who may wish to pursue jobs in the business.
 

34. Ad pro David Slayden needed note from the Chief of Police for his first job

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, David Slayden, Executive Director and Founder of BDW, an internationally recognized post-digital studio, shares his story about needing a certificate from the Chief of Police to play his first gig as a drummer in a jazz band at the tender age of 15.

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33. Chief Creative Officer Damon Gorrie weighs-in on the value of jobs held as teen

Damon Gorrie, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Safari Sundays

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Damon Gorrie, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Safari Sundays, a global brand development and creative design studio, says his job experiences as a teenager proved invaluable. It was a wide range of different jobs during his teen years coupled with the mentorship of his father which sparked his love of the creative, people, and an independent spirit.

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32. Paper route at 13 taught me the value of earning a dollar, says Jeff Motske

Jeff Motske, Founder & CEO Trilogy Financial, author, husband, father

 

 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Jeff Motske, Founder and CEO of Trilogy Financial and author of the newly released book, The Couples Guide to Financial Compatibility , says he got his start as a paperboy where he learned how to communicate with others and the value of earning a dollar-- keys for his eventual career as a money manager.

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31. My first job: 'Getting my hands dirty', says Kim Getty, Pres Deutsch LA

Kim Getty, President of Deutsch LA, brand lover/grower,  mom, passionate (but untalented) musician, horse freak

 

 
 
 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Kim Getty President of Deutsch LA, the largest advertising agency in Los Angeles, says that she learned in her early teens to get her hands dirty working with horses. It was the impetus for her work hard, roll up your sleeves and get it done attitude she carries with her today.

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30. At 15, Eugenia Kuzmina shared the catwalk with fashion icon Naomi Campbell

Eugenia Kuzmina, Russian-born model, actress, stand-up comedian

 

 
 
 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Russian-born supermodel turned actress and stand-up comedian Eugenia Kuzmina shares how she landed modeling jobs in her early teens and how working early in life shapes who she is today.

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29. Even in his youth, celeb event promoter Jacob York preferred to build businesses

Jacob York, serial entrepreneur, entertainment exec, celebrity event promoter

 

 

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, popular celebrity event promoter and serial entrepreneur Jacob York shares how work in his youth shaped his innate drive to build businesses. York is the founder and CEO of Jacob York Presents (JYP), a celebrity-driven events and marketing company which produces an endless array of events for Jay Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. Kim Kardashian, Diddy, Snoop Dogg , Jamie Fox, Jermaine Dupri, Ja Rule, Nelly, and LeBron James to name a few.

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28. Famed Hairstylist Anthony Santini says his first job was a gift

Anthony Santini, Hairstylist and Salon Owner

 

 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, hairstylist and salon owner Anthony Santini shares why his first job at age 18 was a gift. Santini owns Hybrid Salon, Tanglz Salon, and is opening a cosmetology school with a national franchise in Wisconsin.

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27. Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller’s teen job assignments helped her find her voice

Shannon Miller, America’s most decorated gymnast, business owner, motivational speaker, cancer survivor, author


 
 
 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller, now founder and President of Shannon Miller Lifestyle shares how she conquered shyness and found her voice through job assignments in her teen years. Shannon Miller is the Most Decorated Gymnast in American History who retired from gymnastics at age 19. She is the only American to rank among the Top 10 All-Time gymnasts and is the only female athlete to be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame twice

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26. My first job: Nely Galan, a self-made entrepreneur at age 10

Nely Galan


 
 
 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Nely Galan, a Latina media mogul and Emmy award-winning producer, shares how she was a self-made entrepreneur at age 10 and how valuable lessons learned in her younger years contribute to her continued success. Galan is a first generation Cuban immigrant who holds the distinction of being the first Latina president of U.S. television network, Telemundo. She is the producer of over 700 episodes of television in Spanish and English, including the FOX hit reality series "The Swan" and is the first Latina to appear on "Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump" on NBC. Her company, Galan Entertainment has launched nearly a dozen television channels internationally. 

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Joseph “Joe” Plumeri, businessman, author, speaker, philanthropist


 
 
 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Joe Plumeri, vice chairman of the First Data Board of Directors and author of the best-selling book, “The Power of Being Yourself-A Game Plan for Success by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work”, shares his first job experiences and how valuable lessons learned in his teen years contributed to his success. 

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24. I learned to support myself at 18, says Lea Black

Lea Black, mother, wife, author, businesswoman, and reality tv star


 
 
In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Lea Black, best known for her standout role on Bravo's The Real Housewives of Miami, and author of the newly released novel, “Red Carpets & White Lies”, shares her first job experiences and how a strong work ethic and positive beliefs learned in her teen years guide her to this day. 
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23. Interview with , Dr. Ian Smith, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers SHRED, SUPER SHRED and SHRED DIET COOKBOOK, shares his first job experiences and how “soft open hands” taught him valuable lessons and guide him to this day.


Dr. Ian Smith-“soft open hands” taught him valuable lessons on his first job

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Dr. Ian Smith, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers SHRED, SUPER SHRED and SHRED DIET COOKBOOK, shares his first job experiences and how “soft open hands” taught him valuable lessons and guide him to this day.

He is the former co-host of the Emmy winning daytime talk show, The Doctors. He also served as the medical/diet expert for six seasons on VH1’s highly rated Celebrity Fit Club.

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22. Interview with Dave Asprey founder/CEO of The Bulletproof® Executive, creator of Bulletproof® Coffee, and author of The Bulletproof® Diet

At age 6 entrepreneur Dave Asprey drew & sold pics of rocket ships door-to-door

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Dave Asprey founder/CEO of The Bulletproof® Executive, creator of Bulletproof® Coffee, and author of The Bulletproof® Diet, shares his first job experiences and what he learned along the way that still help him today. This is the 10th in a series of articles about the “first paying jobs” of successful people, their advice for today’s teens, and the value of work early in life.

21. Interview with Mark Steines host of Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show and former host of Entertainment Tonight


Charismatic TV host Mark Steines’ first real job was “walking” corn

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Mark Steines host of Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show and former host of Entertainment Tonight, shares his first job experiences and what he learned along the way. Born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa, Steines says “walking” corn, that is, detasseling corn is a teenage rite of passage in rural areas of the Corn Belt of the Midwestern United States and he passed.

20. Interview with Michael Lowe, David Ciccarelli, CEO of Voices.com

 

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, David Ciccarelli, CEO of Voices.com an online marketplace that connects businesses with professional voice actors, shares his first job experiences and what he learned along the way that still help him today. This is the eighth in a series of articles about the “first paying jobs” of successful people, their advice for today’s teens, and the value of work early in life.

19. Interview with Michael Lowe, President of A Parent Media and Founder of Kidoodle.TV™

 

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, Michael Lowe, President of A Parent Media and Founder of Kidoodle.TV™ shares his first job experience and what he learned that still helps him today. This is the seventh in a series of articles about the “first paying jobs” of successful people, their advice for today’s teens, and the value of work early in life.

18. Interview with Joseph Abboud, Award-winning menswear designer & Chief Creative Director at Men's Wearhouse


In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, Joseph Abboud, award-winning menswear designer and Chief Creative Director at Men’s Wearhouse shares how a part-time job in a men’s clothing store at 16, led to his love of the industry and his commitment to give back through the National Suit Drive.

17. Interview with Ryan Blair, Author, Filmmaker & CEO 


Mentor turns around a teen gangbanger, Ryan Blair, now making millions legally

In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, Ryan Blair, co-founder and CEO, ViSalus, the company behind the Body by Vi™ 90-Day Challenge, a weight and fitness transformation platform, and New York Times best-selling author of Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain: How I Went From Gang Member To Multimillionaire Entrepreneur shares how a mentor’s influence at the age of 17 was the turning point in his life.

16. Interview with Shelleylyn Brandler, Catering Queen

 

Shelleylyn Brandler goes from hot dog stand cashier to catering queen

Shelleylyn Brandler goes from hot dog stand cashier to catering queen and has advice for today’s teens seeking jobs. Brandler is the CEO and founder of TaDa Catering, a multi-million dollar empire feeding today’s music super stars on tour such as Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and many more. In an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, Brandler shares her first job story to provide advice to today’s teens seeking their first job.

15. Interview with Dan Nainan, Comedian


Renown comedian Dan Nainan's first job wasn't funny

Dan Nainan, a professional comedian who has performed for President Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and many others to rave reviews, shares his first job story in an exclusive Q&A with Renée Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, to provide advice to today’s teens seeking their first job.

14. Interview with Craig Wolfe, Serial Entrepreneur

 

In an exclusive interview with Renée Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, Craig Wolfe, serial entrepreneur who has founded several successful businesses including Name That Toon, CelebriDucks, and Cocoa Canard shares his perspective and advice for today’s teens looking to earn money this summer and throughout the year.
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13. Interview with Jerry Springer, TV Talk Show Host


 

In an exclusive interview with Renée Ward, founder of Teens4Hire.org, popular TV talk show host, Jerry Springer shares what he did, what he learned, and offers advice for today's teens.

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12. Interview with Matthew Evilsizor, Creator/Owner, Conscious Bean

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. My first job was at a country club’s restaurant as a busser.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. I simply walked in and asked if they were hiring. I was pretty young (14) but motivated to learn more about restaurants.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. Honestly, I had very little to bring to the table. I believe I was hired because I was honest. I said I had no work experience, but I was hungry to learn and grow. I told them I would take direction well and would pick up any shifts. I was aware I was at the bottom of the totem pole and I was aware every shift I had to earn my job. I asked them to be patient with me and let me know anything and everything I could do to improve in all areas of my job. I think they appreciated my tenacity, honesty and humbleness.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I worked any shift I could get and worked my way up as a busser to better shifts over the course of about year. As a busser, my job was to clear plates, refill bread and water, make sure there was clean silverware for each course and that all the tables were set properly. I had to do that and be as invisible as possible. Beyond that my job was to assist the servers in their needs.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. No mentor directly, but the management staff was very supportive of me. If there was a problem I would try to acknowledge it head on, (1) to resolve it for the staff as quickly as possible and (2), so I would learn from my mistakes. Sometimes it annoyed the servers and managers that I would ask so many questions but a lot of their advice was very useful to me as I progressed in the industry. I also read several books about the restaurant industry that was relevant to being a busser or server to learn more about my job.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Things went wrong a lot. I felt like a total failure at times. But that’s going to happen in any new profession. I just made sure to try and learn something from every mistake. It’s not really a problem if you learn from it. You grow and improve and are better than you were before that is the beauty of mistakes they make you stronger, smarter and faster.

One of the last things Steve Jobs said when they asked him about his company after he leaves it, he said that mistakes would get made but that’s ok because it means that decisions were getting made and that is the only way things will truly progress. I believe in that entirely. Action creates change.

Make the best choice you can every time and see what happens. Learn from it and grow. That’s what first jobs are all about.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. I was able to work my way up from busser to server, server to bartender, bartender to floor manager, floor manager to manager and I now own my own business.

I have worked in some of the top clubs and restaurants in Los Angeles due to the things I learned from starting at the bottom. I learned about hard work and all the little details that go into every aspect of a restaurant front and back of house like how to interact with guests and create relationships.

I learned etiquette and the hierarchy of the food service industry. My first job was invaluable to me. I still keep in touch with them now and again as they have become supporters of my business. They are happy to see me grow and flourish from what they have taught me.

Keep your head down.  Do your best. Ask questions. Don’t get down on yourself and always keep believing because you can do it. Take pride in your work.  If you get stressed, remember to breathe-- seriously this helps me a lot. If I am stressed I realize I’m not breathing. Actively take a few breaths and you will have a whole new prospective on your work.  Don’t ever give up, no matter what. Never accept less than your best. Learn from every action you make. Help others.  Do things with integrity and care.

Follow those simple rules and you will go far.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Wow, enough said. He went from cleaning tables to successful business owner. Why not you???

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Not sure what you want to do or what kind of job to pursue? Take a look at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) career clusters and take a Career Clusters Interest Survey. This may help give you focus and direction in your job hunting.

The Sixteen Career Clusters

The Career Clusters Interest Survey

 
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11. Interview with Jeff Dickey-Chasins, Owner, Job Board Doctor

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. I did general labor at a Laundromat.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. My dad knew the owner.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. Because I was willing to do the work.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I hauled laundry out of industrial washers and put it into dryers as well as some folding.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. No.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. No.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. It taught me to stay in school so I could use my brains and not my brawn!

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Are there Laundromats or dry cleaners in your area that could use some help? Do a GOOGLE or YELLOW PAGES search to find businesses like this in your area and stop in to ask if they need help.

Enter “laundromat helper”  and “dry cleaner helper” in the search jobs field on Teens4Hire.org.

It’s physical labor, but work you can do after your school hours.

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10. Interview with Jim Treacy, Public Speaker, Writer, and Consultant

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. My dad was a construction worker & my mother a homemaker/ part-time employee at a New York State unemployment office. Despite the modest household income, for most of my teen years, I was a year-round student-athlete & my parents insisted I focus there. So my first job was at age 18, the summer after I graduated high school and before I began college that fall (1976). I worked in the mailroom of an IBM office in Sterling Forest, New York. 

Lowest man on the totem pole - gofer at everyone's beck & call.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. The New York State unemployment office my mother worked at got a job posting from IBM looking for a few summer kids to help in mailroom, mostly filling-in/covering for vacationing staff.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. Once I heard about the opening, I jumped on it! And, I was willing to work hard at any task they presented.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I sorted mail, delivered mail, made copies, unloaded mail trucks, loaded mail trucks, etc. and drove huge sacks of mail to/from IBM Sterling Forest to the Suffern NY US Post Office. IBM would put out/receive so much mail in a day it overwhelmed the US Sterling Forest Post Office, so it had to go to the regional center in Suffern - about 30 minutes away.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. Not really. I did have older full-time mailroom employees who were fun and good people - showed me around and appreciated my efforts.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Two I recall -- Once coming back from the Suffern Post Office one of my fellow summer hires at the wheel, crashed into the back of a truck that stopped short. All were okay but there was some vehicle damage. Although my colleague had fault -- following too closely -- I chose to tell the truth which was the truck did stop abruptly but we were following too closely & I wasn't necessarily helpful as we were joking around while driving. No one was fired, not even really scolded & I was assigned the driving duties the rest of the summer. The second, I started dating a bit older secretary (21) I delivered mail too on a floor above. When the relationship didn't work out, it was a little uncomfortable the last few weeks before heading to college. Learned dating at work can be tricky :-)

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. This job, like those I held each summer and at times in conjunction with attending college, were very physical. Good hard work but I made-up my mind I was getting a good education and onto the corporate white collar track.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

In most states the “unemployment office” has been renamed as “Workforce Development Center” and/or “One Stop Center”. This is where companies post openings that reach out to the unemployed.

 
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9. Interview with Daniel Barbossa, Broadcast Communications Manager, Ford Motor Company

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. I was a server at Dairy Queen.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. I knew the owner.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. I had an eagerness to work to earn spending money for high school.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I served ice cream and made ice cream cakes.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. No, I did not have a mentor.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Yeah of course, I learned how to adapt and make the situation the best I could 

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. It taught me work ethic.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Ice cream and juice stores are among one of the best places for teens to seek out jobs. Oftentimes even 14-15 year olds can be hired because rarely does the work consist of operating equipment deemed “hazardous”.

Get to know the owners of the stores in your neighborhood. Ask for openings.

What is “work ethic”? Our “Bring You’re a Game to Work” job certification program (which is included in Teens4Hire.org Premium Membership) teaches you all about - work ethic, a skill you will learn and use for the rest of your life. It covers the 7 fundamental workplace values that are a prerequisite for employment in ALL careers.

1.    Attitude (Staying positive regardless of circumstance)

2.    Attendance (Dependability/ Punctuality)

3.    Appearance (Personal hygiene, grooming and dress)

4.    Ambition (Initiative and desire to improve)

5.    Accountability (Honesty/Integrity)

6.    Acceptance (Adhering to rules and standards, following directions)

7.    Appreciation (Cheerfully serving the customer, no matter what)

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8. Interview with Vince Thompson, Founder and Managing Partner, Middleshift

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. I picked up bottles and garbage in the parking lot of a Pizza and Beer joint.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. I was hanging out in the front of the building one day and a guy asked me and my pal to help. We worked out a deal where we'd come every Saturday and clean up. They paid us in Pizza and Soda. I think we were 12.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. We were willing, we were polite, thankful and we showed up.

Q. What work did you do?

A. We just cleaned up. People always need help cleaning; cleaning houses, cleaning cars, cleaning yards.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. Not at that point but I've had mentors all through my life and different ones for each career challenge. I would advise teens to find someone doing what they want to do and ask them how they got in that situation. Ask them if they'd be willing to help you by mentoring you with advice. Maybe you can even work with them to learn the business or skill. Be prepared to work cheap or for free. You have to give in order to get most times.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. I've screwed up, broken things, made big mistakes, hurt people’s feelings and I've been fired several times. Each time I've tried to ask forgiveness, move on and do better next time.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. I worked a lot of service jobs. I waited tables for years before selling advertising and ultimately managing businesses and starting a consulting firm. Service jobs taught me how to listen to people and serve them. Business is about creating customers by serving them and the best leaders at any level are always at service to their customers and employees.

Learn how to serve people and be good to them and you'll be in good shape.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

 “Clean up” someone’s mess and you can make money (or trade) in the process.

 
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7. Interview with Ted Daywalt, CEO & President, VetJobs

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. Working in the gas station at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, NC

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. After my father had been transferred there by the US Navy, I just went to the gas station and asked the manager if I could have a job.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. Initiative, discipline and willingness to work – especially on holidays when others did not want to work. I was very familiar with cars and their repair.

Q. What work did you do?

A. Pumped gas (we had 20 gas pumps) and worked in the parts room.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. The gas station manager spent time with me to help train me. There were about 55 employees in the gas station complex.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. No, I was able to avoid accidents – I was lucky!

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. It reinforced what my parents had taught me about being responsible.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Well, today we have self-serve pumps so no need for gas pumpers anymore. But we suspect there are motorist that might like to have their vehicle windows cleaned. You could offer to clean the windows for a buck tip. At the end of the day, you could easily earn $100. Of course, I’d ask the station manager first for permission to set up shop.

Likewise, perhaps you could help out at the local car wash.

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6. Interview with Carol Grubbe, Regional Sales Manager at TownNews.com

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. It was behind the counter at a Dairy Queen in my hometown.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. I honestly don't remember if it was in the newspaper or if I just drove there and put my application in.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. I had no experience since I had just turned 16. I think they took a leap of faith.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I filled customer orders, cleaned the store, and ran the drive thru.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. No, I did not have a mentor, but good co-workers and THAT can make a difference.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Yes, one night it was closing time and a customer came in to get some fried chicken. Our cook was in the back in the cooler putting stuff away since it was closing time. The manager went to the back to tell him to start cooking some chicken. We didn't realize the window on the cooler was open and I, the manager and the customer could hear the cook cussing about having to cook for the customer. I stayed calm and said, yes, it’s close to closing time but we'd be glad to make you some fried chicken.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. It taught me how to work with others, how to stay focused on what I was doing because the drive thru was very fast paced, and it taught me to work hard for my money. I knew I didn't want to work there forever.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Dairy Queen, often abbreviated DQ, is a chain of soft serve and fast food restaurants owned by International Dairy Queen, Inc, which also owns Orange Julius and Karmelkorn.

The DQ® system is one of the largest fast food systems in the world, with more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries. Stores are independently owned and operated.

To apply to a Dairy Queen, you have to do so in person so be prepared to be interviewed on the spot. Dress appropriately, use your business voice, make eye contact, complete the application neatly and completely. Display an upbeat and positive attitude.

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5. Interview with Gerry Crispin, Principal & Co-Founder, CareerXroads

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. I worked for Jacobsens, an antique dealer.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. My mom saw a help wanted advertisement in my local newspaper. It was listed like this: Teenager: Miscellaneous; part –time.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. None. No skills, No interests but I said I was willing to do what they wanted and my mother, who drove me there, said she would make sure I showed up.

Q. What work did you do?

A. First year: I raked leaves, helped carry very expensive furniture without breaking anything and swept store. Second year: same as first year but I learned how to paint a room. Third year: I learned how to help refinish furniture. Fourth year: All of the above and was now also an assistant at Antique shows.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. The owner, Val Jacobsen, took an interest in me and taught me a great deal about the provenance of the antiques he bought and sold.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Yeah, I made mistakes. It took a long time to even rake leaves properly. I remained focused on ‘being present’ and always was the first to own up to what I did…or didn’t do.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. What carries over is a willingness to do it all…the cool stuff and the drudgery to get the result. Quality of work and quality of commitment to customers go hand in hand. Sharing the whole story w/o hiding anything is so much better. Patience with those who are willing to learn to do it well was a hallmark of how I was treated and I learned to pay that forward as I grew up and managed others.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Are there antique dealers in your area that could use some store help? Do a GOOGLE or YELLOW PAGES search to find dealers in your area and stop in.

Enter “antique dealer helper” in the search jobs field on Teens4Hire.org.

If you do a good job, you might have a job with the same company throughout your teen years.

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4. Interview with Steve Beauregard, CEO/Founder, GoCoin

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. I was a summer lifeguard at a community pool in Maryland. 

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. The lifesaving instructor at my high school was the manager of the pool. He recruited me for the position.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. I believe it was my positive disposition and good family values.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I opened and closed the pool, vacuumed the bottom, back washed the pumps, balanced the PH of the water, taught swim lessons and sat on the lifeguard stand and got a tan.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. The more experience guards I guess, they helped a little.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. There were some temperamental and difficult personalities among my fellow lifeguards. I had to learn how to work with and manage getting along with them. 

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. It taught me early on that sometimes to get the job done, you have to do things that you really don't want to do.  For example, I had to get in a cold pool to teach lessons first thing in the morning.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Pool activities peak in the summer months. Contact pools and waterparks in your area for opportunities in lifeguarding and pool maintenance.

It would help to be American Red Cross certified in first aid, CPR, and water safety. Check for courses online or in your local area.

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3. Interview with AnnMaria DeMars, Ph.D., President, 7 Generation Games

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. My first job as a teen was washing dishes in a restaurant.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. I applied for the job from an ad I saw in the newspaper.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. I think I was hired because I was willing to work as a dishwasher and, unlike a lot of people who applied; I didn't have a criminal record and didn't seem obviously crazy. They actually told me this. It's a crummy job and I took it because I needed money and had no experience doing anything. Plus, I was only in high school.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I occasionally bussed dishes but mostly I stayed in the back and washed them.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. The driver (who made deliveries) and manager were particularly nice to me. When there was an opening for a waitress, I got the job, which was much preferable. They both encouraged me to stay in college so I could go on to get better work than in the restaurant business.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Nothing went terribly wrong. It was an all-night restaurant and occasionally people would be so drunk they would fall asleep face first into their breakfast. I was really young and had no clue what to do. I would tell the manager and she would politely wake them up.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. Not sure this job prepared me that much for being CEO of a technology company other than to realize that all work has dignity, that everyone starts somewhere and that a dishwasher might be my boss or biggest client someday so I should treat him or her with respect.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Ask about “behind the scene” jobs at your local restaurants such as a dishwasher, janitor and/or bus person. Your first job may not be your dream job but you’ll earn money and learn a lot. Do this job well and you’ll probably be promoted to a better job.

Treat everyone well, no matter what position they may have in the organization.

“All work has dignity”. 

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2. Interview with Greg Bahue, President, SignCraft

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. My first job was a paperboy at age 11 delivering the ‘Suburban Trends’ in Pompton Planes, NJ. I got the job at 10½ but had to tell anyone who asked that I was eleven. I also delivered the ‘Record’ a free newspaper that was published twice a week. With two paper routes I had to hire my sister to do the inserts. Ten cents an hour. Then I worked in a bakery as a baker's assistant for a couple of years. The first job that I wore a tie to was as a shoe salesperson at Kinney Shoes. Great job and I learned a lot.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. Newspapers were always looking for kids to deliver papers. The bakery was owned by a friend and we helped when needed before being hired on part time. The shoe store – I answered an ad in the newspaper.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, why do you think you “earned” the job?

A. Newspaper route: I was willing to get up early and get done before school started. Bakery: They saw that I was self-motivated.  On the job I worked hard and fast to keep up with the older professionals. Shoe store: They saw that I was ambitious.  On the job I sold more accessories than anyone and I was only a teenager.

Q. What work did you do?

A.Newspaper: I added the inserts, folded papers he papers and rode my bike to deliver them. In rain and snow. No kidding.  Bakery: Cake and doughnut decorating,  made dough and custard, cleaned the pots and pans, swept, and other general clean up. Shoe store: Sold shoes, made recommendations on color, fit and accessories. Worked in a mall situation – lots of hours, lots of people. 

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. Newspaper: no mentor. Bakery: Borge Christensen was the owner. He was a lunatic. Always screaming. Calling me a ‘miserable Meeskite’ I have no idea what that is but he was constantly yelling. He would say, “someday you’ll thank me for working you this hard.” Waiving his fist, “Someday you’ll thank me!” He was right. Shoe store: Mr. Clem (yep, that was his name) was the regional manager. He told me sales was the ‘key’ to his success. Keep selling. He was right.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Lots of things but I learned that by really trying hard and listening, I was able to atone for most of my transgression.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. Newspaper: If I brought the paper up to the door step, I got a larger tip.  Rule: People are willing to pay more for better service.

Bakery: If I kept my head down and worked harder, I got yelled at less.  Rule: Bosses simply want production.

Shoe store: The more I sold, the easier it was to sell.  Rule: Revenue cures all. Drive revenue and everyone will be happy.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Most local newspapers have given other companies the responsibility of delivering their newspapers.  This is called "outsourcing".  There may be opportunities for teens to work with these companies.  Check with your local newspaper to learn who delivers for them and then reach out to that company for any openings a teen could fill such as a helper. 

Search for a list of bakeries in your neighborhood and ask them if they could use a helper.
 
Visit all of the shoe stores in your area for openings and don't forget to mention you know the importance of selling accessories along with the shoes.
 
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1. Interview with Renée Ward, Founder, Teens4Hire®

Q. What was your first job as a teen?

A. My first paying job at the tender age of 14 was as a Summer School Teacher’s Aide. The summer school program was called “Safari” and it was offered by the city school system for underprivileged families that could not afford to send their children to a summer camp. It was an activity and learning program for children in elementary grades. I earned the minimum wage for the time.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

A. My mother’s friend was a community activist and had received a flyer on the program and told me about it.

Q. What qualities did you bring to the job at that time? That is, how do you think you “earned” the job?

A. Although I didn’t have any previous work experience, during the interview process, I shared my high grades in school and that I was a volunteer math and science tutor of young children in my neighborhood. The children I tutored improved in these school subjects and the hiring manager was impressed.

Q. What work did you do?

A. I was an integral part of developing the curriculum for the program, responsible for the safety of the children on field trips, taught learning modules, and completed the administrative paperwork.

Q. Did you have a “mentor”? If so, how did that help you?

A. The “teacher” was actually an up and coming actor who basically took me under his wing and encouraged me to continue to excel in school, learn and provided positive and constructive feedback on my work performance. He was enthusiastic and passionate every single day and I learned that work can be fun if you like what you do. Years later, this “teacher” went on to be a regular on the tv show Saturday Night Live. We remain friends to this day.

Q. Did anything go wrong on the job?  If so, how did you overcome the challenges?

A. Yes. On one of our field trips to a large park, one of the children walked away from the group and was presumed lost. We were all very concerned and worried. The one thing I did not do was panic. I thought hard about where she might have gone. It dawned on me that she had a fondness for ducks so I retraced our steps and found her at the lake feeding the ducks her lunch.

Q. What did you learn from this job that has prepared you for what you are doing now?

A. I learned that I had a fondness for teaching, helping others less fortunate and responsibility. I use all of this everyday as Founder of Teens4Hire and in my other work assignments. Work can be “fun”, if you are passionate about what you do.

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Tips for teens as a result of this interview:

Your neighborhood public or private school system may have openings similar to this for the summer. Ask around if this is something you think you would like to do.

Good grades and experience working positively with younger children will help in the interview.

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Not sure what you want to do or what kind of job to pursue? Take a look at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) career clusters and take a Career Clusters Interest Survey. This may help give you focus and direction in your job hunting.

The Sixteen Career Clusters

The Career Clusters Interest Survey