Lessons from Stephen Colbert’s #FirstSevenJobs

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Let’s be honest, you never remember anything like you remember a first. The first time you ride a bike. The first time you fall in love. The first time your infant takes a step. All of our firsts are breathtaking, messy and glorious. Your first job is no exception. That may be why #FirstSevenJobs has taken off like a bullet. As one of the world’s foremost workforce experts, how could we stay away from such a fascinating conversation?

If you have not seen some of the tweets, Time and Buzzfeed are great ways to get caught up. Celebs are weighing in left and right. We are pretty impressed with the journey that some famous faces have taken to get where they are today. In particular, Stephen Colbert comes to mind. This man started in construction. It got us wondering, what lessons may the sultan of sarcasm have learned from his #FirstSeven Jobs? More importantly, how can we move our own careers forward by following in his footsteps?

Construction: Learn by Doing.

There is a reason most construction work doesn’t require a college degree. It’s not because the job isn’t difficult or nuanced. It’s because you can’t really teach construction in a classroom. Construction workers learn their trade through masters of the craft and practice. Becoming a successful actor and comedian uses some of those same principals. We imagine this job left an impression on Colbert. He practiced his acting and comedy for years before it became his primary profession.

Bus Boy: Embrace the Mess.

Working as a bus boy will teach you a lot about humanity. Stephen probably received a crash course in the human experience by embracing the mess. Not just his own, but other people’s. Colbert has spun those lessons into comedy gold, insightfully poking fun at American society. You never know what you will discover when you embrace the mess and learn to thrive in it.

Cafeteria Server: Spice up the droll.

Cafeteria life may not be the most glamorous but there is something really rewarding about feeding the masses. Our nation’s cafeteria workers season and serve food that may otherwise be bland. Colbert could have reported the news or gone a more traditional comedic route. Instead, he spiced up our sense of infotainment by creating a fearless character that said things no one else would.

What do you think Colbert learned from his #FirstSevenJobs?

Colbert held other jobs of course. He worked in library data entry, futon frame making, futon sales and waiting. We could comment on them all. We won’t though. You’d be bored and we wouldn’t get to hear from you. Why don’t you tell us what you think Colbert learned from his later experiences in the comments section of the blog?

If you want to test yourself and discover how you can use what you have learned from your last job in your next, check out our job positing today!

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