What were your #FirstSevenJobs before breaking into journalism?

August 9, 2016
Category: Business & Work

Journalists over the weekend jumped aboard the #FirstSevenJobs trend, listing early gigs to highlight their bottom-up quest to earn paying jobs in the media industry.

The #FirstSevenJobs hashtag began trending after Twitter user Marian Call asked her followers to participate, according to Time. Since then, the hashtag has exploded — celebrities such as Lin-Manuel Miranda have joined in, with the “Hamilton” creator listing jobs including nude model for a drawing class ($14 per hour).

Many reporters, editors and producers recounted their journeys from minimum wage (or unpaid) salaries to their current positions.

David Kocieniewski was a Mister Softee driver before becoming an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News:

Seattle Times book editor and columnist Mary Ann Gwinn scrubbed dishes before poring over books:

Emily Nussbaum was an “anti-shoplifting-tagger” and a clown before becoming TV critic for The New Yorker.

Bill Adair, creator of PolitiFact, started off as a paperboy:

Jane Bradley coached kids in sports before turning to journalism. She is a former BBC correspondent and a current investigative reporter for BuzzFeedUK:

Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark was a tax-free liquor runner before becoming Poynter’s writing coach:

Ann Telnaes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist who works for The Washington Post, was once a theme park caricaturist:

The responses prove there are more ways to journalistic stardom than the standard internship route. Journalists, want to share your #FirstSevenJobs with us? Drop them in a comment on our Facebook page or tweet at us @Poynter, and we’ll include them in this post.