what our first gigs taught us
december 12, 2022
brands - content - trends - marketing
by: fiona lam
The mark of an official grown up? Getting our first job. And for us teenage dirtbags, as the internet lingo goes, the extra cash from it was our taste of freedom. Yes, we were in it for the money, but it taught us a life lesson or two—even if we had to learn from trial and a lot of error. So dive into our career origin stories and what we’ve learned.
“I accompanied ballet classes on the piano. Still my side hustle after 11 years.”
Lesson: Don’t stay up all night watching Friends before your shift.
“I sold (and polished) cowboy boots at a store in my hometown that had Ontario’s longest wall of cowboy boots.”
Lesson: Large, mundane tasks are best done with a little music.
print production lead
“I sorted earthworms for my Aunt’s bait shop. Got promoted to plan out the display racks shortly after. I was 8 years old.”
Lesson: People who fish like to tell stories both long and tall.
“Worked as a Pharmacy Technician in highschool.”
Lesson: Telling people you were a lifeguard in high school is way cooler than a pharmacy technician.
“Worked on the night shift at a 24hr McDonalds for a summer”
Lesson: Organization of your workspace makes the work easier down the road.
associate director, pr
“I made slideshows that played at Bar Mitzvahs, and shot and edited videos of the night.”
Lesson: There are always creative ways to turn something you love into a job or side hustle!
“Worked as a party inflatable coordinator, aka a bouncy castle supervisor.”
Lesson: Patience. 10 – 15 kids at once, full of sugar bouncing around.
senior digital project manager
“I worked as a census taker going from home to home to gather information about each household.”
Lesson: Not everyone wants to happily share their private information.
“I started and ran a chess club at my little brother’s Montessori.”
Lesson: A queen is nothing without her pawns.
“I was in a Children’s Aid Society training video when I was 12.”
Lesson: That was my first taste of production – almost 20 years later, I’m still at it.