In many ways, the entire world is a classroom. Sure, we go to school, pick strategic things to study in order to attain our goals, and ultimately graduate into the workforce. But our lives outside of the education system often provide life’s most important lessons. You learn to socialize, to lead – the methods and tactics to build yourself into the type of person you always wanted to be.
Part of that comes from our day-to-day interactions with family and friends. Some of it from our experiences at school. But a good amount of our early lessons come from our first job – our very first sojourn into the professional world.
A lot of people think back on their first jobs with a lack of longing. Whether it was a dish pit in the back of a restaurant, a mail room in the basement of an office building, or working the deep fryer at a fast food restaurant, our first jobs are not something we’d go back to, if given the opportunity. But the experience we garner during that time is invaluable. You learn the value and importance of punctuality, character, and networking. You also learn what your labor can buy you – and in your younger years, it’s usually not much.
That’s why we work hard to improve ourselves. We earn degrees, sharpen our skill sets, and expand our personal networks. We’re increasing our value – what we can command on the market. But it’s all rooted in those first experiences, when and where we first ventured into the professional world.
The folks at LinkedIn have also realized the value in those experiences, and have recruited a number of very successful people to share their stories. It’s all a part of the social network’s “How I Launched My Career” campaign, which features stories and posts from politicians, CEOs, entertainers, and more. The goal is to show everyone that they’re closer than they think to the career they always wanted, and to show how successful people managed to connect the dots.
Here are seven of those stories, from some of the world’s most successful individuals.