My first job was on a farm picking fruit in South East Queensland and my first job with a major company was at McDonald’s as they opened their flagship store in the medium size town I went to high school in. And while I never aspired to the McManagement position they always pushed, it certainly did teach me a few things about work ethics and the fact that I didn’t want either of those jobs as an adult.

 

So, on the first job-related theme this month, I have looked into the first jobs of some people who became the world’s wealthiest to see where they started on the professional ladder.

 

Michael Jordan

Currently worth a US$1 billion (VND21.5 trillion), his first job was as a hotel maintenance man. Maybe that’s where the following phrase came from: “You miss 100 percent of the leaves you don’t rake.”

 

Michael S. Dell

Currently worth around US$14 billion (VND301 trillion), he started out a dishwasher in a Chinese Restaurant. Though he founded one of the largest computer companies in the world, he started out in the kitchen at age 12.

 

Richard Branson

Nowthe owner of airlines and worth nearly US$5 billion (VND107.5 trillion), he started out by breeding and selling birds to his classmates at the age of 11.

Jeff Bezos

Well here is some good news for me. He also had his start at the golden arches and is now worth over US$30 billion (VND645 trillion) as the founder of Amazon. He is often quoted giving credit to his time at McDonalds for teaching him valuable life lessons.

 

Steve Ballmer

The Microsoft CEO worth over US$20 billion (VND430 trillion) started in the cake and brownie business as an assistant production manager.

 

David H Murdoch

The owner of Dole, the multinational with a monopoly on the banana business, is worth around US$3 billion (VND64.5 trillion). He started out pumping gas at his local petrol station. Next time you are filling up your Honda take a look at the guy and see if you can see the same glint in his eye.

 

George Lucas

May-the-force-be-with-you George Lucas has made over US$5 billion (VND107.5 trillion) in the movie business. His first job was as a teaching assistant where he helped teach navy cadets about filmmaking while he earned his undergrad degree at USC.

 

Jan Koum

The Ukrainian-born inventor of WhatsApp, currently worth over US$6.5 billion (VND136.5 trillion) had very humble beginnings. After immigrating from Ukraine with his mother, he helped pay her cancer medical bills by sweeping the floor at a local grocery store. He later dropped out of college to accept a job at Yahoo which he then quit to launch WhatsApp.

 

Mark Zuckerberg

The exception to the rule, he has only ever had one job. Worth an estimated US$34 billion (VND731 trillion), Mark’s first and only ever job thus far has been as the owner of Facebook.

 

Warren Buffet

Currently the richest man in the US, he started out as a newspaper delivery boy. With an estimated worth of over US$70billion (VND1,505 trillion), at a later stage in his life he bought the paper he originally worked for.

 

J.K. Rowling and Jack Ma

And for the all the EFL teachers reading this, two of the wealthiest people in the world started out in the same profession. J.K Rowling of the Harry Potter billions and Jack Ma, the executive chairman of the Alibaba group. Both had their first professional jobs in EFL.

 

Shane would teach EFL if it meant becoming a billionaire in the future, too. He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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