The First Jobs of American Presidents

The First Jobs of American Presidents
The First Jobs of American Presidents

We’ve all had boring, frustrating, dead-end jobs. Well, most of us, anyway. These are first jobs, often. Jobs that we can get because we don’t have any skills and because employers have a hard time keeping them filled.

The trick, of course, is to swing those first jobs into something greater by picking up skills along the way. For many people, these jobs involve washing dishes, mopping floors, or maybe serving people dinner. For others, it’s working on a farm or behind a cash register.

The binding thread is that these jobs usually aren’t very glamorous or fun. They’re a rite of passage, though, for each and every one of us. Even presidents.

While most of our presidents have come from prestigious, high-skilled vocations they’re often lawyers, business executives, or professors, for example, their experience at their first jobs are a lot like everyone else. From scooping ice cream to collecting garbage from construction sites, here are the first jobs from 5 of President Of The United States,

1. Barack Obama

Barack Obama | 44th U.S. President
Barack Obama | 44th U.S. President
  • Back in the ’60s, you could find Obama scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins.

It’s hard to imagine President Obama scooping up ice cream, but that’s exactly what he was doing in his younger years. Obama worked at a Honolulu Baskin Robbins. Of his time there, Obama has said that his “first summer job wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it taught me some valuable lessons. Responsibility. Hard work. Balancing a job with friends, family, and school.” It’s safe to say that all of that hard work paid off in Obama’s case.

 

2. Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan | 40th U.S. President
Ronald Reagan | 40th U.S. President
  • Before hitting the silver screen, Reagan spent his summers as a lifeguard.

Reagan was famously an actor and union leader before he became every conservative’s favorite president. But what about way, way back before all of that? It turns out, Reagan was spending his summers at the local watering holes, working as a lifeguard. If you want to go even further, though, Reagan also worked at a carnival in his early teenage years earning $0.25 per hour

 

3. George W. Bush

George W. Bush | 43rd U.S. President
George W. Bush | 43rd U.S. President
  • Bush is from an oil family and started his career as an oilman.

George W. Bush  the son of George H.W. Bush, another president  started his career off working as an oilman. His first job involved going out to oil fields, inspecting and scouting, and hauling stuff around. It wasn’t fun, of course, and eventually, he would go on to attend Yale, go into business, and then make the jump to politics.

 

4. John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy | 35th U.S. President
John F. Kennedy | 35th U.S. President
  • Kennedy benefitted from a fairly well-off family — and a father who had a prestigious job.

John, or “Jack”, as he was called by his family, didn’t have to work as a child, and instead spent his time playing sports and competing with his siblings. As he got older, though, he developed an interest in politics and current events. After graduating from college, he joined the Navy which you could call his first job. He was sent to the South Pacific during World War II and served on a torpedo boat.

 

5. Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton | 42nd U.S. President
Bill Clinton | 42nd U.S. President
  • There’s a chance a 13-year-old Bill Clinton could have bagged your groceries.

Talk about humble beginnings — Bill Clinton, at the age of 13, got his first job at an Arkansas grocery store. There are a lot of rungs on the ladder to success, and making it from bag boy to President of the United States pretty much covers all of them. He also convinced the store owner to let him sell comic books, which earned him more money.

 

6. Donald Trump

Donald Trump | 45th U.S. President
Donald Trump | 45th U.S. President
  • Trump cut his teeth as a scavenger — which explains a lot.

According to a 2006 article from Forbes, President Trump’s first job involved collecting recyclables from construction sites and collecting rent for his family’s properties. “I accompanied my father to his sites and would collect soda bottles with my brother for the deposit money. That was my first income. Later, I went around with the rent collectors to see how that worked. I learned to stand out of the doorway to avoid the possibility of being shot,” the article says.