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Before they were famous, they punched a clock

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Snagajob looks at stars who got started in hourly positions

What do Julia Roberts and President Barack Obama have in common? Long before the silver screen and the White House, they each got their start serving vanilla or chocolate ice cream as hourly workers at Baskin-Robbins.

And presidential candidate Mitt Romney? He was a security guard at a Chrysler plant.

Some of today’s most well-known names and faces entered the workforce through a path many Americans follow, the hourly job. According to research from hourly employment network Snagajob, nearly nine out of 10 Americans have held an hourly job at some point in their career.

“Everyone has a first job, and for many, hourly positions provide that critical first workforce experience that teaches responsibility and customer service skills,” said Jason Hamilton, vice president of marketing for Snagajob. “Tomorrow’s political leaders, star athletes and celebrities of all types likely are hard at work today at hourly jobs before their moment of discovery.”

So whether it’s a quick-serve restaurant or a retail store, everyone starts somewhere. Below are a few names that appear frequently in today’s headlines but once were just a name on a weekly time card, according to various sources.

- Jennifer Aniston, actress: Bike messenger in New York City
- David Beckham
, soccer player: Emptied ash trays and collected beer glasses at a dog track
- Nicolas Cage
, actor: Sold popcorn at the movies
- Michael Dell
, CEO of Dell: Worked at a Chinese restaurant starting at age 12
- Lance Brooks
, discus thrower at the London Olympics: Leading up to London, Brooks was sealing driveways
- Savannah Guthrie
, “Today” co-host: Cleared tables at a Greek restaurant
- Queen Latifah
, singer, actress: Burger King crew member
- Matt Lauer
, “Today” co-host: Teen paper boy
- Madonna
, singer: Dunkin’ Donuts crew member
- Doug McMillon
, president and CEO of Walmart International: Began as a summer associate at a Walmart distribution center
- Brad Pitt
, actor: Wore a chicken suit at El Pollo Loco as a crew member
- Ronald Reagan
, president: A lifeguard in Illinois
- Chris Rock
, comedian, actor: Red Lobster crew member
- Carrie Underwood
, country singer: Gas station attendant
- Oprah Winfrey
, talk show host: Worked at the corner grocery store

So next time you’re getting ice cream or paying a gas station attendant, keep in mind, the person behind the counter someday could be your next favorite actor, singer or even leader of the United States.

About Snagajob: Snagajob, the largest hourly employment network for job seekers and employers, is the only company to provide both sourcing and talent management solutions to the hourly industry. With more than 35 million registered job seekers and the leading hourly-focused talent management system, Snagajob has been serving hourly workers and those who employ them since 2000. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., Snagajob has been named the No. 1 Best Small Company to Work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute. To find out more, visit www.snagajob.com and www.snagajob.com/employer-solutions.

 

Courtney Moyer is a content producer at Snagajob. When she’s not creating content for employers, she can be found painting anything that stands still, pretending she’s the next Food Network Star, or spending QT with her husband and Abraham Lincoln – the dog, not the president.