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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Frankies Girl on April 23, 2014, 09:18:04 PM

Title: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Frankies Girl on April 23, 2014, 09:18:04 PM
I was just thinking about this due to another question...

So how old were you and what was the job?

And this "officially" part means when you started working and paying into SS/taxes so your babysitting and lawnmowing or other teenager jobs might not count unless you were "in the system" at that point.


I was 15, and I worked in a toy store.
So technically, I've had over 25 years of work experience already - no wonder I'm tired!

Unofficially, I was working at 6, manning my koolaid stand and was babysitting by 11. ;)

Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: HappierAtHome on April 23, 2014, 09:35:08 PM
13. Checkout chick at my local grocery store. I think I earnt $7.50 an hour, not too shabby at all :-)

This means I've been working for just over half my life...
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Zikoris on April 23, 2014, 09:39:05 PM
13, farm labour.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Daisy on April 23, 2014, 09:41:33 PM
14 as an unpaid candy striper over the summer.

I worked every summer after that and part time during the first two years in college with an 18 credit load. These were paid clerical office jobs. Then internships every summer in college, earning enough to sustain me through the year. I lived at home so it was for spending money.

So, yes, I have thought about working for 30 years now that I am in my mid-40s. I've also used it as an excuse for being tired of working. So I won't feel guilty at all ER-ing soon.

I notice my brothers have not required my nieces and nephews to do the same, even though all of my siblings did. This next generation is a little more "spoiled". They are good kids though. I hope they learn to adapt to the working world well.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: kaizen on April 23, 2014, 09:42:44 PM
17, manning the counter in a sandwich/pizza place for the most racist and sexist boss I've ever had. Whew, glad that's done with.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: pachnik on April 23, 2014, 09:47:44 PM
15 or 16 when I worked at the counter in a drycleaner's shop.  I did this through high school part-time.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: skyrefuge on April 23, 2014, 09:57:09 PM
15, working summers at the place where my dad worked (a contract circuit-board manufacturer).

I started my first REAL real job a month after I turned 21, a year earlier than "normal", since I made it through college in only 3 years. The double whammy of saving on a year of college expenses and earning a big salary a year sooner did way more to accelerate my FI than those 6 summers of pre-career work!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: galliver on April 23, 2014, 10:07:42 PM
19. I couldn't work "officially" while I was a dependent of my dad's H1B for HS and freshman year of college (while paperwork got sorted).

I have lived in this country since I was SIX. Immigration politics suck.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: frugalmom on April 23, 2014, 10:15:39 PM
14  I worked at a dog store (not pets only dogs).  I scooped up shit!  Every job I have had since has been progressively better (with the exception of a job with US government)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: roboto on April 23, 2014, 10:21:21 PM
14. Worked at the local McDonalds (paid like $3/hr - we have no minimum wage BAH!)

Official full-time job: 19.

Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Badass by 41 on April 23, 2014, 11:02:15 PM
13 washing dishes at a local restaurant Fri/Sat/Sun nights.  My mother would drive 35 minutes from home to pick me up at 12:30-1:00am. (After she was finished her second job)

Now that I think about it, the longest I've gone without being W4 employed since then is 2 months in 2000 between jobs. That's 24 years so far.

Good times, and good riddance. Bring on the FIRE! 8)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: MDM on April 23, 2014, 11:07:32 PM
And this "officially" part means when you started working and paying into SS/taxes so your babysitting and lawnmowing or other teenager jobs might not count unless you were "in the system" at that point.
For both of us, "officially" = 18 and "unofficially"=12 or 13.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: sol on April 23, 2014, 11:11:44 PM
I worked part time for two years in high school, in a public library.  Then assorted part time research jobs as a student.  Then got my first real job at 31, about the age mmm retired.

I don't regret getting a PhD, though.  Those were some good years, arguably better than an early retirement.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Eric on April 23, 2014, 11:31:51 PM
Detassled corn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detasseling) in the summers starting at 13.  Paid way over minimum wage, but of course you had to get up at 5am and slog around in a cold wet muddy cornfield all morning, and then a hot muddy corn field all afternoon.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: gooki on April 24, 2014, 01:27:49 AM
16 when I started working at KFC, serving customers and flipping burgers. I promised myself I'd quit when I was twenty (didn't want to become a lifer).
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Heart of Tin on April 24, 2014, 01:59:31 AM
12 I worked as a soccer referee as a line judge. I've been employed ever since, 13 years consecutively. Over half my life!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: BFGirl on April 24, 2014, 02:30:57 AM
17, Fast Food
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: mxt0133 on April 24, 2014, 02:44:23 AM
Unofficially at 13 for a comic book store, still my dream job.  Then officially at Block Buster at 16.  Ironically my jobs have lead away from my interests due to my pursuit of a bigger pay check.  Luckily I have manage to reverse that trend by taking a job to better suit my non-monetary goals.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: mc6 on April 24, 2014, 03:29:16 AM
17, Arby's, for $5.15/hr
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Silvie on April 24, 2014, 03:44:07 AM
13. Checkout chick at my local grocery store.


This. But I started at 16.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: greaper007 on April 24, 2014, 04:00:46 AM
4 years old for $100 an hour in 1984.    I modeled for print media, mostly circulars for stores like Target in the Sunday newspaper.   I did that until I was about 7, but it got too hard because my mom would have to take me out of school to get jobs so I quit.

I tried to do it again in middle/high school but I wasn't as cute as I used to be and never got a job.

Still the easiest, and best hourly wage I've ever earned
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: ThatsMyOtter on April 24, 2014, 04:44:25 AM
I started working very occasionally for my dad's family business at 9, usually for a couple days over Christmas and spring break. Pretty easy work like filing (though I did have to drag a step ladder around as most offices are not designed for children). Not sure if I paid into SSI. In retrospect my dad probably brought me in because school was closed and he didn't want to find a babysitter, but I was thrilled to earn money. I probably worked less than 200 hours a year.

Starting about 12 I would pick up hours after school and on summers when the receptionist was sick or on vacation, probably 400 hours a year.

Got a normal summer job for the first time at 17 and my first full time job at 21.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: nereo on April 24, 2014, 05:26:39 AM
age 11, I started delivering the local newspaper for 5 a paper.  I had a paycheck and everything.  I remember my first paycheck I had to ask my mom what FICA was.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Rural on April 24, 2014, 05:38:04 AM
I was 16 because I had to be able to drive (25 miles to anything, and my parents weren't going to drive me). Got a job as a grocery checker and kept it through most of college (plus two other jobs).
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: sleepyguy on April 24, 2014, 05:38:24 AM
15 - assembly line workshop (dads work)
16-18 - NFP camp counsellor

35 now.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: mrsggrowsveg on April 24, 2014, 07:35:40 AM
13, $5/hr cash mucking horse stalls.  I actually did not mind that job one bit.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: LibrarIan on April 24, 2014, 08:21:19 AM
11 - I was a reading tutor at the middle school I attended as a sixth grader. Got a real paycheck and everything, which felt really awesome back then.

When I hit 14 I started mowing neighborhood yards. This wasn't "real" like my tutoring job, but it was money.

16 - Walked into Kroger and asked for an application - was hired on the spot. They only look for warm bodies there!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: ketchup on April 24, 2014, 08:32:52 AM
I was 14.  I dipped Dilly Bars at the Dairy Queen by my high school for six bucks an hour.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: scrubbyfish on April 24, 2014, 08:57:04 AM
14, bussing tables and washing dishes at a restaurant, ushering and working concession at a live theatre, painting and cleaning at a commercial site, nannying up to 30 hours per week (40+ in summer holidays)

12, babysitting

before that, commercial yard maintenance contract with my dad and siblings

before that, paper route

A variation on this question was in YMOYL, and proved life changing for me: Around age 22 I developed a severe disability. I applied to the federal disability pension plan and was told I hadn't had enough work hours to qualify, even though I had been doing professional (albeit low-paying) work for some time by then. When a short time later I answered this q in YMOYL, I thought, "Wait, I've worked loads and loads since I was a kid. The plan people can't be right." I called them up and said so. They checked again, sent me a large lump sum and started sending me monthly cheques!

I don't know what hours/work they deem "official". Much of my adult-life work has been part-time, weird, low-paying, contract, self-employment, etc. I've only had two years of income high enough to pay taxes!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: 401Killer on April 24, 2014, 09:04:53 AM
12y/o was the first job I had with actual paychecks at a local golf course.

I was 17 when I got my first new car(lease) that I 100% paid for including insurance. Senior in highschool and didn't have a co-signer of any kind. Many people at school didn't believe me, was a new white 1997 Dodge Ram short box regualar cab V8. Was kinda cool to have in highschool. haha.


Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Frankies Girl on April 24, 2014, 09:09:33 AM
This is actually really cool - I thought I wasn't going to be the youngest, but seeing the young ages and the variety of jobs, it's pretty clear that being Mustacian starts at an early age!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Zikoris on April 24, 2014, 09:15:38 AM
Quote
And this "officially" part means when you started working and paying into SS/taxes so your babysitting and lawnmowing or other teenager jobs might not count unless you were "in the system" at that point.

Must have missed this part. I was paid in cash for my summer farm job at 13, which was a LOT of hours during harvest. I was "official" at my pizza cook job at 16, but earned little enough money that I didn't actually pay anything - 10 hours a week at most.

Actually, it was quite awhile before I started paying much in the way of taxes/SS, due to low income, education credits, and RRSP contributions. I still barely pay anything at 27.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on April 24, 2014, 09:16:43 AM
15. Shoveling horse shit. Every night had to shovel this shit while the horses were in there stalls and run wheel barrow up a narrow ramp into a spreader. Several times got smashed into walls by the Tennessee Walkers and being a light weight at the time couldnt always make it up the damn ramp. Having said that my dad said you want clothes for school go to work and buy them. I always was the kid that had pocket money as well. Best lesson my dad ever taught me.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: totoro on April 24, 2014, 09:58:54 AM
Started officially with a paper route at age 11 and then at 13 I started working at a local restaurant bussing and then waiting tables.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: FIreDrill on April 24, 2014, 10:02:26 AM
14.  I cleaned a small private school, lol.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Beaker on April 24, 2014, 10:17:54 AM
15, working counter at a drycleaner which was the easiest job I ever had. Saved 90% of each paycheck (easy to do when you're living on your parents' dime) which paid for a good chunk of my college.

Didn't work my first year of college, played in the marching band instead. Took off one summer to travel. After that worked tech support part time during school, full time in the summers, and have had a full time job ever since.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: galliver on April 24, 2014, 10:25:25 AM
Question: Isn't 15 the minimum age at which someone can be hired for "official" work? I've just always been under this impression but it kind of looks like I'm wrong. Unless those posters are older...
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: FIreDrill on April 24, 2014, 10:28:12 AM
Question: Isn't 15 the minimum age at which someone can be hired for "official" work? I've just always been under this impression but it kind of looks like I'm wrong. Unless those posters are older...

I think it depends on the State you live in.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: ketchup on April 24, 2014, 10:35:20 AM
There's a bunch of restrictions on times and length of shifts (in IL at least) at 14-15 (as a result, many places won't hire you), and at 16 you can do most jobs not deemed hazardous.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Capsu78 on April 24, 2014, 10:42:49 AM
Busboy @ 12 years and 9 months- was instructed to say I was 13 if asked!  I wanted a mini bike.  Dad said "Bank half your pay for college and I will match you dollar for dollar that you save for your mini bike.   Bought an awesome 50cc Italian Moto Beta that I I really regret not having any photos of.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: MrsPete on April 24, 2014, 10:52:01 AM
14, summers only
16, part time during high school
18, 30-40 hours a week during college

I was offered a teaching job one week after finishing college in the month of December, and I'm still in that same job. 
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: onehappypanda on April 24, 2014, 10:53:04 AM
17, part-time cashier at a discount store. $6.50 an hour, which felt pretty fancy at the time (min wage was 5-something)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: mrsggrowsveg on April 24, 2014, 10:54:47 AM
I guess 14 was my first job on the record and paying taxes.  I was kennel help at a vet clinic.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Spork on April 24, 2014, 10:56:31 AM
So how old were you and what was the job?

And this "officially" part means when you started working and paying into SS/taxes so your babysitting and lawnmowing or other teenager jobs might not count unless you were "in the system" at that point.



Unofficial: mowing lawns at about 10
first "real" job was at 16 in a blood bank.  But... we DID NOT pay SS due to some loopholes in the laws back then that dealt with non-profits, so that definition sort of breaks with me. 
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: KMMK on April 24, 2014, 10:59:15 AM
18. I didn't work officially until I was done high school, but did some cash jobs and flyers much earlier than that.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: nawhite on April 24, 2014, 11:00:03 AM
14 or 15 I can't remember, I was a camp counselor at a Boy Scout Camp. I taught knots, first aid, cooking and wilderness survival. I still use the knots skills more than anything else I learned that year (did you know that ~75% of people tie their shoes wrong? The loops should lay horizontally across the shoe rather than vertically along it). I got paid $500 for 8.5 weeks on duty 12 hours per day 6 days a week.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: William on April 24, 2014, 11:21:44 AM
14

I hit the ground running too, working as many hours as possible.  I worked a lot before then but nothing taxable.  Working a vineyard in the hot, hot Nebraska sun.  No complaints!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Dr. Doom on April 24, 2014, 11:25:51 AM
I was just thinking about this due to another question...

So how old were you and what was the job?

I think my first job slinging newspapers at houses doesn't count so I'll list the second:

Age 14, dishwasher at a family owned bakery.  4.25 an hour plus occasional free baked goods, 20 hours a week, 1991-1994. This job saw me hunched over industrial sized sinks with near-boiling water, the heat necessary to melt pools of carmelized sugar off of massive sheet pans.  As an added bonus, I got to wash floors when I was done scrubbing -- that felt laughably easy compared to cleaning the cookware.

To be honest, even though the work was tough, I enjoyed it.  I've always preferred physical jobs to mental ones (I'm in IT right now -- sometimes I think I'd rather be back at that bakery.).  Also the family was super nice and I felt good contributing there. 

Edit:  d'oh, didn't initially list age.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Amanda on April 24, 2014, 11:26:29 AM
At 11 I started working full-time in the summers for my dad's construction company doing everything from interior/exterior painting to framing and roofing work.

At 16 I started work at an Arby's.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Theadyn on April 24, 2014, 11:57:50 AM
Unofficially...  12 babysitting a sweet little girl all summer, and again the next summer.   Officially, at 16 (the legal age there) as a nurses aide in a nursing home.  Evening shifts after school and weekends.  Looks like I win the crappiest first official job title.  Earned $3.15 an hour.  :(
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: dude on April 24, 2014, 01:52:47 PM
I was just thinking about this due to another question...

So how old were you and what was the job?

And this "officially" part means when you started working and paying into SS/taxes so your babysitting and lawnmowing or other teenager jobs might not count unless you were "in the system" at that point.


I was 15, and I worked in a toy store.
So technically, I've had over 25 years of work experience already - no wonder I'm tired!

Unofficially, I was working at 6, manning my koolaid stand and was babysitting by 11. ;)

Yeah, 15 for me, washing dishes in a restaurant weeknights.  But before that I was unofficially working (i.e., getting paid under the table) hauiing cases of soda with the old man (who worked for 7-Up) to pay for my school clothes from age 13 on.

First real career job wasn't until 32 though.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: dude on April 24, 2014, 01:55:24 PM
age 11, I started delivering the local newspaper for 5 a paper.  I had a paycheck and everything.  I remember my first paycheck I had to ask my mom what FICA was.

Oh damn, forgot about this job!  Yep, did that too, around the same age!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Katnina on April 24, 2014, 01:59:02 PM
15, worked at a day camp.   did that for 3 summers.  worked at a bookstore my senior year of high school, but spent almost all of my earnings there on books......
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: TLV on April 24, 2014, 02:07:32 PM
17, first semester in college working at the campus food court.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: DoubleDown on April 24, 2014, 02:09:42 PM
15.5, as a dishwasher in a supposedly upscale pizza restaurant earning minimum wage. I lasted 3 weeks -- it was Hell on Earth and a health inspection/OSHA/EEO nightmare. The job was insanely busy for two dishwashers, but they cut to one. At least 35 bins of dishes/hour plus all the kitchen pots/pans/etc. The cook was certifiably psychotic. In three weeks I experienced:

- Large kitchen knife hurled in my direction by the cook because he was pissed he burned something
- Cast iron skillet hurled at the pile of dishes and glassware because he was pissed about something else, causing an explosion of glass and ceramic all over and around me. Of course I got to clean it up even though already swamped
- The cook scraped off a steak he dropped on the disgusting floor, and served it up
- Someone sent their meal back because it was undercooked, so he cooked it some more then spit in it and sent it back out
- Busboy had thrown out a rotten rack of ribs in the dumpster outside, that were completely covered in mold. The cook yelled at him, called him a "f*ing idiot" and said the ribs are fine -- he took them out of the dumpster, put them on a baking rack, hosed them off in the sink, slathered bbq sauce all over them, cooked them, and served them
- Called all the Mexican busboys "Taco" or "Jose", no matter what their names were
- Sexually harassing the female waitresses and hostesses (overt stuff like grabbing them or telling them he'd like to f* them)
- Live, exposed electrical wires coming out of the floor, that were frequently mopped over (wet)
- Another dishwasher (different shift) mixed chlorine and bleach in the mop bucket, creating a nice cloud of chlorine gas
- I had to violate child labor laws every night, working later than allowed in order to finish all the stacked up dishes
- When I quit, he called me a f*ing pansy, you f*ing quitter, why don't you go home to your f*ing mommy and cry.

Too bad I didn't know better back then to have that place shut down. I didn't want all my other high school friends who worked there to lose their jobs.

Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: birdman2003 on April 24, 2014, 02:22:53 PM
Age of 11 I started to work for farmers who paid me in cash.  When I was 14 I started detasseling seed corn.  Also worked as a cashier at a grocery store during high school.  During college I was a tutor and also worked as a data entry analyst.  Then a few engineering internships and research assistantships, and I got a full time job with a manufacturer.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: birdman2003 on April 24, 2014, 02:25:11 PM
Detassled corn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detasseling) in the summers starting at 13.  Paid way over minimum wage, but of course you had to get up at 5am and slog around in a cold wet muddy cornfield all morning, and then a hot muddy corn field all afternoon.

I did this for 5 summers (unofficially when I was 13, then legitimately for 14-17) and then decided I wanted nothing more with manual labor in corn fields.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: FuckRx on April 24, 2014, 02:26:52 PM
um 29...
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: avonlea on April 24, 2014, 05:02:20 PM
Age 16.  I worked at a camp for 5 summers washing dishes, throwing out trash, and cleaning the facilities.  The camp was located 30 minutes from my parents' home.  My sister worked there as a cook and we had to leave at 4:30 a.m. in order for her to be at the kitchen in  time to make breakfast.  My boss let my sister, another girl who lived even further away, and me stay in one of the cabins.  He was so nice.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: libertarian4321 on April 25, 2014, 01:12:37 AM
22 when I had my first real, full time job (Army Officer).

But I'd had a ton of short term, low wage jobs before that, going back to about age 12 (paper boy). 
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Bateaux on April 25, 2014, 01:19:30 AM
I grew up on a farm so pretty much preschool.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: nikki on April 25, 2014, 01:20:29 AM
I feel like a prissy brat now.

I was 18 or 19. Worked as a waitress at Steak n Shake and spent all my money on clothes, going out to eat, and gas for driving around with friends.

I didn't start saving until I was a graduate student.

Thanks for the good lessons, grandparents! (And by thanks I mean no thanks. I wish I had been better guided earlier.)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: kyanamerinas on April 25, 2014, 02:05:09 AM
4 hours a week at 15, summers and ad-hoc additional work since I was 16, full-time only since I was 23.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: pirate_wench on April 25, 2014, 09:07:05 AM
14, working at the local brewery, back when microbreweries were a new thing.  I was a dishwasher though :)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: ysette9 on April 25, 2014, 09:09:13 AM
"officially" as in I was paying SS taxes and the like was my first retail job at 18 working at Ross. That job SUCKED and made me appreciate every step up in the work place I have taken ever since. It was probably my hardest job and by far the worst paid.

Before that though I played piano as a children's choir accompanist (under the table) and played piano and organ at a Catholic church for Sunday masses (my mother the accountant found it fascinating that the Catholic church was paying me under the table).
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Peter on April 25, 2014, 09:33:46 AM
15 and working on a construction site. Which was totally illegal, as you need 16 in Canada to work construction. But my dad worked at the company so got me in anyways.

First full-time "adult" job wasn't until 25! I did a lot of mucking about in College for a few extra years...
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: eliandjax1 on April 25, 2014, 09:40:44 AM
Worked at mcdonalds starting at 14. Want to say I made 7.50. I worked there until 18 and was general manager when I left and was making 45k at that point.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: simonsez on April 25, 2014, 09:44:46 AM
DoubleDown, wow.

15 at a summer day camp at the local park.  Paid to play?  Loved it, did it for 4 summers.  Made $4.65/hr at the time even though min wage was $5.15.  Something about being under 16 IIRC, whatever.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Elaine on April 25, 2014, 09:47:34 AM
Babysitting at 12, first "real paycheck" job at 15 (orthopedic shoe store)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Russ on April 25, 2014, 09:49:08 AM
officially, bike shop @ 18
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: horsepoor on April 25, 2014, 09:51:28 AM
13, $5/hr cash mucking horse stalls.  I actually did not mind that job one bit.

Ditto here, though it was $1 per stall, so I learned all about working efficiently.  I also exercised boarders' horses for $5 per session, and had a babysitting gig.  Financing my horses goes way back.

First real job where I paid taxes and got an hourly wage was carhop at A&W when I was 15.  Probably got robbed, because I don't think anyone told me to file a tax return, and I don't remember doing so until I was 17 and working at a grocery store.

First real CAREER job was at 25, when I finished grad school.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Better Change on April 25, 2014, 11:16:52 AM
First started babysitting at 12.

Got my paychecks taxed starting at 16 flipping burgers at McDonald's.  I worked the closing shift during the summer.  Ugh, so many bad memories.  McD's customers are the WORST.

Got my first "real" job at 28.  I was in school FOREVER.  But hey, grad school paid me (five years of fantastic fellowships), which was a pretty sweet deal.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: William on April 25, 2014, 01:42:05 PM

I didn't start saving until I was a graduate student.


Ha, that's early compared to most people!  Don't feel too bad!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Frugal Vegan Mom on April 25, 2014, 02:03:24 PM
14, I served dinners in the dining room at an upscale retirement home - the residents could choose from several menu items and tables were set with linen and flowers, etc.  Probably the best job I ever had, so much fun to work with a bunch of friends and the residents (well, except the really cranky ones)  just loved us kids.

I couldn't wait until I turned 16 though and could get a job at Contempo Casuals in the mall, where I then spent all my money.  Again, loved this job so much. 

I got excellent grades too, would definitely encourage working for h.s. students. 
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Zikoris on April 25, 2014, 02:18:42 PM
I also highly recommend working in high school. It puts you in such a better position if by the time you're older and looking for a better job, you have at least one or two solid references and some customer service experience.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Unique User on April 25, 2014, 02:46:48 PM
Started officially with a paper route at age 11 and then at 13 I started working at a local restaurant bussing and then waiting tables.

So close.  Paper route at 11 and at 13 working as a salad girl at a local restaurant owned by a friend of my mom's.  Looking back $2.30 an hour was so not worth having to clean 10 pounds of calamari a night!
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: zinethstache on April 25, 2014, 03:23:49 PM
My parents bought me a horse when I was 11, but the deal was that I had to pay for it. I got a paper route and collected cans. In the summer I picked strawberries in addition to the paper route. By 15 I got a job at a local pony ride farm, that was a dirty thankless job, but I loved horses so didn't care. That darn horse was a money pit, but it taught me how to hussle up $$. I also babysat here and there.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: johnintaiwan on April 25, 2014, 07:26:19 PM
12, worked at a family owned grocery store (not my family) where my mo was a bookkeeper. I got paid whatever minimumwage was at the time. Counted the filthy cans and bottles people brought back for deposit (they didnt have any machines for this yet) was a horrible job in the summer with the heat and the smell in the back parking lot next to the dumpster. Also got to clean up spills and carry bags of groceries out for little old ladies. I actually liked that job. Kind of funny that after getting my BA and having a ton of work experience, I had to fight for that same job when I came back to the US for a year in 2008. I think I made more back then as well as in 2008 I made minimum wage minus my union fees. Think I was making .25 less than minimum an hour.

What I never figured out though was this: The old woman is too frail to carry the 50lb bag of cat food out and put it in her trunk. I get that. But what does she do when she gets home? Just pop the trunk and let the cat have at it?
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: iwasjustwondering on April 25, 2014, 07:39:49 PM
11, babysitting, and I mean serious babysitting, as in watching my neighbor's 6yo and newborn daughters, feeding them dinner, etc. 

13, housecleaning for an old woman down the street.  She paid me $7 per hour, and I cleaned for two hours every Saturday morning. 

15, stocking books at the local library, then watering the flowers at our country club, then cooking, bussing, and finally waitressing at the country club.

I honestly think I worked too hard, too young.  I don't want my kids to work so hard in their teens.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Abe on April 25, 2014, 07:50:32 PM
15 to 16 - instrument sterilizer at local hospital
17 to 19 - research tech in college (part-time)
19 to 22 - research assistant in medical school
24 to present - resident physician

Sadly, my salary / hours ratio has no improved in the last 13 years!

Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on April 25, 2014, 07:58:20 PM
Earliest I could get a child labor permit was 14. Worked summers doing landscape maintenance for my dad's business all the way through college, always 40/week and the instant I could earn OT, I often pulled 50-60.

Eventually ended up in a weird "jack of all trades" position where I'd show up and do any of about 10 different jobs, since I'd been there so long and knew how to do everything, including complicated pesticide mixing and driving everything up to CDL class vehicles.

I really, really miss working outdoors but the pay sucks and it's not compatible with being a SAHD at all.

Still only on job #2 at this point.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: CU Tiger on April 25, 2014, 09:16:46 PM
On my 16th birthday I got a job as a cashier after school,and on weekends.. But I had already made thousands as a babysitter from age 11 onwards.

There were times when I babysat three to five times a week. I also did some housecleaning with my sister when we were in junior high.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: kaetana on April 25, 2014, 09:41:22 PM
25. I grew up in an Asian country where school IS your job until you graduate from college, and where even working retail or waitressing requires a four-year college degree. As soon as I graduated, I moved overseas (didn't even attend my own graduation) to be with my husband, struggled with visa issues, and then your-degree-isn't-recognised-here issues.

I did always volunteer or study while I wasn't working. Here in Australia, kids can start working at 14 years old. What I would have given to be earning money at that age...
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: spoonman on April 25, 2014, 09:51:04 PM
In my senior year of high school I volunteered at a library as a page.  I eventually got hired and made minimum wage.  I believe I was 18.

Before that, I tried getting a job in retail but no one would hire me.  I'm glad they didn't.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: kkbmustang on April 26, 2014, 09:00:19 PM
My first official job was checking groceries for minimum wage when I was 18. Before then I lived outside of the US and couldn't officially work due to visa restrictions. But, unofficially, I started babysitting at age 11.

From ages 15-17 I regularly babysat for two families. One family had three kids under the age of 5 and the other family had 4 kids under the age of 7 -- both families had newborns/infants during that time. I'm thinking that between those two families I babysat around 8 hours per week. 

Sad commentary, but my mom had a shopping problem and would hide purchases from my dad. She'd then borrow money from me to pay for them. It was ridiculous. But I digress.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: BlueHouse on April 26, 2014, 09:10:45 PM
Question: Isn't 15 the minimum age at which someone can be hired for "official" work? I've just always been under this impression but it kind of looks like I'm wrong. Unless those posters are older...

I think it depends on the State you live in.
When I was growing up, minimum working age was 16, except for farm labor which was 13.  My mom sent each of the kids off in our 13th summer to learn a good work ethic by working in the fields.  We went out of state and stayed with family friends and picked and sewed tobacco.  I don't know how my mom got such a great work ethic, she had never held a job at that point in her life! 
The summer when I was 14, the local strawberry farms near where I lived stopped hiring high school girls because they started hiring migrant workers and felt it was unsafe for the local girls.  So I had a few years off (stuck to babysitting) until I turned 16.   
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: NinetyFour on April 26, 2014, 09:22:15 PM
13 or 14, in the summers. Then first real job after college was bank teller.  Loved it.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: lexie2000 on April 26, 2014, 09:35:57 PM
At age 15, as soon as I was old enough to get a work permit, I got a job at A&W Root Beer.

Between 12 and 15 I was the neighborhood babysitter and had to turn down work cuz I was already booked.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Argyle on April 27, 2014, 06:01:56 AM
I wanted a job in high school because all my friends had jobs, but my parents told me that learning was my job.  And it was true that my friends weren't terrifically interested in learning.  So they forebade me to get a job.  Anyway I got into a good college and top grad school and all, so I guess their plan worked.  I got my first job at 18, the summer after my freshman year at college, as an assistant and go-fer in an advertising agency.  It paid rock-bottom wages and also I learned that I definitely did not want to go into advertising as a career.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Exprezchef on April 27, 2014, 08:16:43 AM
15 years old as a part-time dishwasher at an upscale Italian Restaurant- I have never not had a full time job since I turned 18 years old. 

** As a side note, when my son turned 16 a few years ago, I sent him out into our small rural community to find a part time job. I was surprised how hard it was for him to find even a part-time job. All of the typical "teenager part-time jobs" such as dishwasher, buss boy and fast food worker positions were already filled by adults or you had to be 18 years old due to insurance requirements. He finally found part time work at the local Boys and Girls club but had to volunteer there first before he would be hired. Boy, how times have changed.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: train_writer on April 27, 2014, 12:57:09 PM
12-14 Strawberry picking in Summer, news paper delivery the rest of the year
15-17 Warehouse chick
18-19 Voluntary work + odd jobs all around Ukraine including journalism. Good times. Didn't earn a lot, learned a LOT.
20 Real estate assistent (interim, creepy boss but best hourly wage ever)
21-22 At home assistant/ caretaker
23-25 Current FT job (45-60 hours per week)

I have always worked for 24 hours per week from the age of 12 next to school or unpaid courses. It is only since 23 that i am working full time and I am well aware that this is why I pursue FI or parttime FI. I don't hate my job, I just watch older colleagues struggling with the hours or being afraid of being laid off and I NEVER want to become like that in my 50ies. Also, health conditions in my family are no good, but almost all smoke and some have an alcohol or medicine problem. So I hope that health struggle will pass my door untill old age.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Davids on April 27, 2014, 12:58:44 PM
Telemarketing when I was 16. I sold NRA memberships.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: DoubleDown on April 27, 2014, 07:23:32 PM
15 to 16 - instrument sterilizer at local hospital
17 to 19 - research tech in college (part-time)
19 to 22 - research assistant in medical school
24 to present - resident physician

Sadly, my salary / hours ratio has no improved in the last 13 years!

Sucks to think of it that way doesn't it! But you'll be making your millions soon enough '-)
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Abe on April 27, 2014, 10:06:30 PM
Ha! True! The good thing about residency is you don't have time to waste money on useless things! Anyway, I tell my co-residents to keep living as they do now, and then they will never have to worry about money.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Nudelkopf on April 28, 2014, 01:20:39 AM
Oooh, I feel bad. I didn't get my first job until I was 18. I wasn't interested before that (money gifts from birthday tided me over through my high school years).

18-20 Kmart checkout chick
18-20 Library assistant
19-20 Research assistant
19-21 Teaching at uni
19-21 Tutoring privately
21-21.5 Centrelink ("Welfare")
22 - now High school teacher, yay.

So, when I was 20, I had about 4 casual jobs at once :P But the library job only paid $6/hour, so it didn't really count as a job.

Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: stripey on April 28, 2014, 02:57:29 AM
Fourteen years, nine months (which was the legal miniumum employable age at the time). As a farm hand (orchard and wholesale nursery work). However I was working 'off the books' doing farm hand work much earlier. From the time I was legally employable to the time I graduated from my undergraduate degree, I never had less than two casual jobs. 

Apart from having a small nest egg for when I started my (high contact hour, high intensity) university education, I funded all high school camps and overseas excursions.
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: DoctorOctagon on April 28, 2014, 08:38:05 AM
First real gig - age 24, net worth $300
Currently - age 29, net worth $180,000
Average annual income - $37,000
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: creativenikki on April 28, 2014, 03:07:39 PM
I got my first real job at 13 when I started at McDonalds.  I had to get a work permit from my school and I could only work until 7:00 pm on weeknights.  I got most of my hours on the weekends as a result. 

Prior to that I cleaned for an older couple every week for 2 to 5 hours.  That was awesome because they paid me $6/hour which was way better than the $4.15/hour I made at McDons.  I would have kept doing that if my family hadn't moved.

So, I've been working for 20 years now with my largest break being my freshman year of college when I only worked for the month of December and then started again in May.  I have not been unemployed for more than 4 months since age 12.  As others have said, it's no wonder I want to quit!! 

I'm amazed some posters here have had so few jobs.  I'm on about my 25th job by now if you count all the places I worked in high school and on summer breaks. 
Title: Re: How old were you when you officially started working?
Post by: Chuck on April 28, 2014, 03:11:42 PM
Got my first job a couple of weeks after I turned 16. McDonalds. Actually, in hindsight, it a fun place to work. Lots of interesting and cool people.

That was in 2004. Damn, that doesn't feel like 10 years at all!