I don’t mean the first job, because many of us had jobs before leaving school….these don’t really count. What was your first “real” job after leaving school, or college/Uni, if you went straight thru.
I left school at 16 and didn’t plan to do A Levels or anything daft like that. I had done skilled factory work before at a company called Graingers, plus some military transmitter assembly and soldering (my dad taught me welding and soldering from when I was about 11 years old. My Dad was a Mechanic and later an Aluminium argon arc welder (quite skilled) making radio towers at Graingers….so I never felt the need for an education.
I started at 16 with a company called Scientific Mechanics, my job, cleaning the workshop and getting things for the skilled machinists. I earned a pittance, but it was a job. It wasn’t long before the boss caught me looking at some drawings/plans and said to me do you understand them. I said yes of course, he looked at me and said could you make this and again, I answered “yes of course”. I had seen them using the various lathes, I had used measuring tools and lathes before, and I thought I could do it….gradually that processed to me becoming a machinist, and they started talking about funding an apprenticeship and technical training for me.
At that point, a very fortunate thing happened..I was allergic to cutting oil, and gloves were not going to help as it gets everywhere as it spins off the work. I thanked them and explained why I couldn’t do it.. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, because UI went to college, did some A-levels, went to work for an oil company near Oxford street….I stayed a few years (that’s another story) and then went to University as a mature student and got my Degree.
Things would have been a lot different without that allergy, and imagine if I had gone into something else…I might never have done A-Levels or gone to uni….how different my life would have been.