Celebrity first jobs

Getting your first bit of work experience is always difficult. You might not have any idea what you want to do, or how to get there. We’ve put together a list of some celebrities’ first jobs before they were famous. 

Get inspired by reading about the first jobs of some of your favourite actors, artists and some of the richest people on the planet. We bet you didn’t know about some of these!

Beyoncé – Hair Salon Assistant

Beyoncé’s first job was working at her mother’s hair salon in Houston, Texas. She used to work sweeping the floor and cleaning the salon to earn tips. Putting on small shows for the salon’s customers also part of her job helped her to earn more money, which she put towards paying for a season pass at a Six Flags theme park.

She now performs in sold out venues, and has sold millions of records!

Jeff Bezos – McDonald’s Worker

You probably know Jeff Bezos as the founder of Amazon, and one of the richest people on the planet. Did you know that his first job was working at McDonald’s when he was 16 though?

Bezos worked on the grill, and said that it taught him how to get items quickly from seller to customer – a principle he has applied to his Amazon. These kinds of time management skills are crucial things that you will learn during work experience.

Today, Jeff Bezos is estimated to be worth $114B!

Margot Robbie – Subway Worker

Working as a sandwich artist at Subway was how Margot Robbie got into the world of work. She prided herself on her skills, saying she “really spread everything out to the edges evenly.” However, she says things have gone downhill since she left the sandwich giant. She later got into acting, appearing films like The Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad. Working at Subway will always be one of her first gigs though.

Stormzy – Engineer

Before becoming one of the UK’s biggest artists, Stormzy was working in an oil refinery as an engineering apprentice, and later in quality assurance. He said in a Louis Theroux interview that his apprenticeship helped him to reach his dream in music, even though the career path was completely different. Proof that your first job doesn’t have to define your career, but do give you valuable skills for the future!

Barack Obama – Ice Cream Worker

Barack Obama served as President of The United States between 2009-2017. However,  scooping ice cream at US parlour Baskin Robbins was one his main jobs when he was a teenager.

Looking back now, he says he’s grateful for the experience. He said the job “wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it taught me some valuable lessons,” on LinkedIn. He did say that the free scoops working at Baskin Robbins had put him off his ice cream though!

Oprah Winfrey – Supermarket Assistant

Oprah’s first job was working in a supermarket – sounds very normal! She later began working in the media, working in local news productions before becoming a news anchor while she was still a teenager. She eventually moved to the talk show style format she’s most known for, which suited her charismatic personality. She is probably the most well-known talk show host in the world, and is estimated to have a net worth of around $2.5 Billion.

Brad Pitt – Chicken Restaurant Promoter

You’d never have thought now, but Brad Pitt’s first job involved him dressing up in a chicken costume to promote a fast food restaurant. The restaurant, called “El Pollo Loco”, in Los Angeles hired Pitt to jump around and flap his costumed wings to try and attract more customers in. It’s not quite like anything else on this list, but if nothing else it shows resilience and the determination to work for what you want.

Getting some form of work experience is the main thing that matters. As our list shows, your first job doesn’t have to define your future. Any type of work experience is useful for your CV, so carry on and keep looking!

If you’re still on the hunt for work experience, why not join us for National Work Experience Week 24th-28th April 2023?