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#MyFirstSevenJobs John Pesec and Chris Palmisano

by David Brock on September 3rd, 2016

A number of weeks ago, I started following some posts about people’s First Seven Jobs.  It was fun and fascinating to see the very first jobs people held.  There’s a diverse selection of people’s first seven jobs hereFred 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.

In kicking this off, I’ve got the first seven jobs from two great friends, John Pesec and Chris Palmisano.

PesecJohn Pesec, CEO, Avtron Aerospace :

My first seven jobs

9 years old          Paper route. Buy ‘em for 7 cents, sell ‘em for 10 cents. (kept job four years)

10 years old        Mowed neighbor’s lawn, using his new riding lawn mower! (cake job!)

13 years old        Caddy at Kirtland Country Club. Learned to smoke and swear.

14-18 yrs old       Maintenance man at nursing home, mowed grass, stocked groceries, unstopped drains, chased aids.

18 years old        Laborer in plant nursery. Worked with ex-cons. Language there was still English.

19 years old        Laborer/janitor in chemical plant. Dumped chemicals in tanks, scrubbed floors and toilets. Learned to drive tow motor.

20 years old        Electrician in factory. Loved this job. They gave me 60+ hours a week with overtime.


Chris PalmiChris Palmisanosano, Vice President, Global Sales And Marketing, Khorus

1) Newspaper delivery boy: With four feet of snow on the ground and a temperature far below zero I could accurately throw a Times newspaper, loaded with holiday inserts and wrapped in plastic, 90 feet and hit your front door, from a bicycle.

2) Cashier/parking lot attendant at a grocery store: I worked at the Wegmans grocery store in Rochester — as did everyone I knew. I started at $4 an hour.

3) House and dorm room painter: I painted student apartments and dorms at the University of Rochester. A friend started painting houses for the summer and he would hire me on jobs to help.

4) Inventory data collector: My friend from the painting business and I were hired to do the annual inventory of electrical components for an electrical technologies company. We would weigh one component on a scale, then weigh all the other components together, do a little math, and come up with a quantity. The accountants would tally a value and put it on the books.

5) Information systems intern: I built servers for the network, installed and configured networking equipment, took trouble tickets and help desk calls, and solved all kinds of computer problems. For the interview I showed up in a suit and had read as much as I could find on the website. The manager was blown away and hired me on the spot.

6) Operations department intern: I worked for Delphi, a General Motors supplier, pulling data out of their production scheduling system and running it through a spreadsheet with Visual Basic scripts I built to then put the output back into the production system. We were optimizing the flow of materials to and through assembly lines. I was on the job in September of 2001 when NYC and Washington, D.C. were attacked.

7) U.S. Marine officer: See number 6.

Thanks John and Chris!

Please share this with #myfirstsevenjobs.

Send yours in, ask your colleagues for theirs.  Learn, Have Fun!

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