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#First Seven Jobs With Pat O’Brien

by David Brock on October 1st, 2016

There’s a series going around the web about people’s First Seven Jobs. It’s been fun and fascinating to see the very first jobs people held. There’s a diverse selection of people’s first seven jobs here, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, and Keenan.

I jumped onto the bandwagon with my first 7 jobs. In the comments, you can also see Hank Barnes’ first seven.

It’s actually a huge amount of fun–first thinking about your own, reflecting on what they meant to you (privately) and seeing others’ experience. Consequently, I’ve invited a huge number of people of diverse backgrounds, ages, and locations, to share their first 7 jobs. I’ll be posting them weekly, usually on Sundays. Feel free to join in, send your first seven jobs to me by email ( I’ll post them in the order I get them.

pat-obrienThis week, we have Pat O’Brien, Vice President Of Sales for Leadspace

  1. Lawn Mower: At first this was the hard labor my parents helped me “find” at my own house, but I was strongly encouraged to sell my services around the neighborhood during junior high, and did.  I remember I was paid maybe $5 for the whole job.  $5!  I’m not that old.  Was I being taken advantage of?  Might be one of the early sparks that taught me to sell value.
  2. Fast Food preparer: Yes, the tight brown polyester was as bad to wear as it looked. I guess I’m still sensitive about it.  It was the start of an illustrious career in the food service sector.  All kidding aside, this was my first job working with and for adults where a “real” business was being run.  And I remember it being hard work that didn’t come easy.
  3. Log Ride Operator: That’s right I was a ride operator at the state fair working with carnies.  Let me tell you about that.  I saw things no young person should see!  But, great experience fixing all kinds of stuff before we opened, then helping people – from all walks of life – on and off the ride once the gates opened. 12 to 14 hour days.  Worked for my first hard-charging boss.  Eyeopening on many levels.
  4. Bus Boy: I had several jobs in restaurants.  To me, one of the best jobs for a young person is working on the customer facing side of a restaurant.  Almost never a slow period or break. You work with lots of other people in different roles, some you may not like.  Always another fire to put out and constant interaction with customers.  My first little taste of “commissions” in the form of tips.
  5. Stereo Technician: I was one of THOSE guys whose car stereo was probably worth more than my cheap car.  So the opportunity to work for a local manufacturer was exciting.  But it turned out the actual job wasn’t too exciting.  In fact, it was pretty mundane work, mostly Q/A-ing equipment, that almost anyone could do. Taught me the value of a job that challenges the mind, and that I likely wanted a role that had more interaction with people.
  6. Warehouse Teamster: That’s correct.  I was union for a very short time.  And I got PAID.  $17/hour plus overtime was real money in 1991.  The size of your paycheck isn’t everything.  But don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t matter.
  7. Basketball Instructor: I am a basketball Junkie.  Shooting hoops and teaching young kids a thing or two, while getting paid?  Are you kidding me?  I actually did the Summer camp jointly with an NBA player at the time.  What a blast.  Realized there’s no substitute for doing something you have real passion for.

Fun reminiscing and remembering what these jobs taught me.

Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample

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