The Importance of Getting a Job as a Teen

Jul 13, 2023

Instead of thinking ‘college or not,’ think skilled or non-skilled.

What you do while in school is not nearly as important as what you do during those years you are in school…working – newspapers, babysitting, mowing lawns, and helping the elderly. If you look at most self-made successful people, you will find this one common example: they all started doing some type of work in their early teens, and by the way, it was never about the money. Read Warren Buffet’s multi-billionaires life story, and you’ll see a fine example of this.

Many others’ first job was a paper delivery route, as was mine at 13 years old.

  • Walt Disney: From age 9 to 15, started at 3:30 in the morning before school
  • Martin Luther King Jr: By age 13 he had already become an assistant delivery manager
  • Kathy Ireland: At age 10, became one of the first female paperboys in CA
  • Bob Hope: From age 8-12, before going to school, worked in his brother’s butcher shop
  • Tom Cruise: His first paper route was when he was 13 and he also mowed lawns

Many successful people had started their first job by the time they were 11 years old doing various things.

  • Mark Cuban: Started selling garbage bags door-to-door at 12 years old
  • Michael Bloomberg: Started as a teen working as a parking lot attendant
  • President Obama:  As a teen in Honolulu, worked the counter of Baskin Robbins
  • Hillary Clinton: Babysitting and supervising a small park in Chicago at age 13
  • Donald Trump: Collected empty soda bottles to redeem for cash
  • Richard Branson: Bred parakeets to sell as pets at age 11
  • Oprah Winfrey: Worked at a corner grocery store
  • Michael Dell: First job was a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant at age 12
  • Jeff Bezos: Worked as a teen at McDonald’s

If you were to look into each of the examples above, these highly successful people would share the life lessons they learned during these so-called menial jobs. It’s not about the paycheck when you are young. The purpose of working is first, of course, to have a little pocket change that you earned, but more importantly, to gain the value and experience of learning “how to work” and the life lessons that actually will matter the most in the years ahead in adulthood.

Feeling Inspired?

Buy the Book Now

Screw College is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Screw College: A Guide to Finishing Success and a Rewarding and Fulfilling Career without College Book Cover