What was your FIRST job in life prior to doing startups?


Curious to see what other entrepreneurs started out with.

What was your first job working for someone else?

Update: It could be your first job in general (out of curiosity) or the first job where your learnt something that helped you in entrepreneurship later.

Entrepreneurs Jobs Entrepreneurship

asked Mar 26 '14 at 15:40
Jimmie Harp
15 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans
  • This is really not a question that requires expertise, and answers will not be qualitative, unless the question is rephrased. Perhaps you are interested in what jobs people think prepared them for a life of entrepreneur or for starting their own businesses? – Webbie 10 years ago
  • @Webbie Updated. – Jimmie Harp 10 years ago
  • Thanks! – Webbie 10 years ago
  • I had a lot of fun answering this question, more than I expected :-) Thanks for asking! – Webbie 10 years ago

3 Answers


I got my first FT job as a Web Developer in 2000 at a NYC-based internet startup Bolt, an "online community for teens and young adults". The salary blew my mind at the time (I was self-taught) and stock options inspired dreams. It was the best job I ever had - average age of employees was I think 24, we were located in Soho, and company culture was great. The CEO and leadership team tried hard to make sure we loved being there, and the office had 20-30 people in the office every weekend. That's where I learned the value of simple perks like catering lunch, serving breakfast, Friday happy hour, and Xbox tournaments (undefeated Dead or Alive Champion speaking). Nobody wanted to leave office, co-workers made friends and hung out together after work. But of course we were living through the bubble and layoffs followed... rounds and rounds...

All other jobs I had after my 3-year year at the startup were at larger, established companies. The contrast was mind blowing - the politics, the unfair practices, discrimination - you grow up very fast at places like that. But post-bubble, startups standing were tough places to work at.

My 1st job inspired me to own my own startup one day and make it THAT good of a place to work for my team. I dream of working with friends, celebrating my employees birthdays and pick Orlando for a company's offsite (now that everyone I work with has kids).

I worked as a Web Developer for about 10 years, moved up to management for a few years before diving into FT entrepreneurship. Technical background is very useful for founding/running software startups, managing people teaches you many valuable skills - polished communications, managing expectations, hiring/firing/retaining employees, etc. I think I got a good set of skills from my past jobs that prepared me for running my own startup.

answered Mar 26 '14 at 20:24
2,835 points
  • Sounds *very* close to my personal experience as well. Started at a startup, but I didn't appreciate the nice things of a small, flexible company that cares about its employees until after switching to a large corporation when the startup went under. – rbwhitaker 10 years ago
  • Great story Lilia. A lot of us can relate to this. – Nishank Khanna 10 years ago
  • @rbwhitaker - I had no idea how good that 1st job was until I worked at larger companies, nothing came even close to the happiness level at that first job. – Webbie 10 years ago
  • The first *startup* you work for is always a dream come true. – Jon Sturgill 10 years ago


While not related to startups, this might end up being a fun question.

My first job was back in 1996 doing basic online "marketing" for a company called Yoyodyne (started by Seth Godin, later acquired by Yahoo).

I was 14 at the time, but I claimed to be 18 as it was a remote job (only way they would have hired me).

answered Mar 26 '14 at 18:34
Nishank Khanna
4,265 points


Mine was working as an intern at a law firm. It gave me insight on how much physical paperwork most old-school businesses use.

answered Mar 26 '14 at 18:41
Darlene Garrett
261 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Entrepreneurs Jobs Entrepreneurship