A new trend has surfaced on social media over the last few weeks where people are sharing their first roles in the workplace under the hashtag #FirstSevenJobs.

Celebrities like late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert, who started off working in construction, have even taken to Twitter to post the jobs they had early on.

Scott Schieman, Canada research chair in sociology at the University of Toronto, told BNN that the first few places you work are important because they can really shape the person you become.

“It’s the chance to have a new role, to gain new experiences, to interact with new people, to learn about yourself – and also encounter successes and failures early on so you know how to deal with them and get a sense of what you’re capable of,” Schieman, whose first job was at a mall hot dog stand, said in an interview. 

He also stressed the importance of connecting with people who may be able to help you in the future.

“I think even early on, some of the ways those roles and new experiences connect you to networks – you never know whether the person you are working for is going to know somebody or at least will give you a good reference further down the line.”

But it’s not uncommon that many of our first jobs don’t relate to what we end up doing in the long-run. For some examples of that, here’s a list of first jobs that a few of BNN reporters held:

Andrew Bell:

Weeding sugar beet for one whole day
Packing shelves in supermarket
Lifting blocks on German building site
Bringing people coffee in hotel lobby
Bus conducting
Ghost-writing articles for PR firm

Jameson Berkow:

Ski apparel salesperson (Sporting Life)
Rent-a-Carny (Hart Entertainment)
Entrepreneur (Course Cram)
Media relations staffer (Canadian Embassy to U.S.)
Freelance writer/Book salesperson (2008 CTV election contract, Indigo)
Think tank writer (Energy Probe Research Foundation)
Reporter (Financial Post)

Paige Ellis:

Babysitter (bratty kids next door)
Home Hardware (cashier)
Dentist office (I cleaned the tools and tidied the procedure rooms. This was back when I was determined to become a dentist)
Bayshore Broadcasting Centre (Summer reporter)
Waterloo radio station (promoter, I guess?)
Globe and Mail (Web editor)
Canadian Grocer magazine (Writer)

Pattie Lovett-Reid:

Delivered papers (two routes at the same time)
Worked in a German deli serving tables and behind the counter
Sold tickets at the Fox Theatre/during the show candy bar
Pharmacist assistant
Bank teller – BMO
Management trainee – TD