I worked in fast-food for most of my young life. When you don’t even have a high school education, there are not many fields of work to choose from.
I got my first job in food when I was 16 years old. I had just left school so I could help support my family, and Burger King was one of the only places that even considered hiring me.
It’s not rocket science, so it didn’t take a long time of applying myself before I was promoted to assistant manager at 18. I was good at fast-food because I took my job seriously and applied myself and learned everything I could about the business.
Over my late teens and early 20s, I changed jobs to chase a few extra dollars on my paycheck and it wasn’t long before I was making decent money for my age. In addition to Burger King, I worked at Little Caesars Pizza, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and many others. I had a good resume and track record so I could pretty much get any job I wanted.
But working fast-food is a very hard job. When you are salaried management, they work you as many hours as they can to save labor. Back when I was in college, it was normal for me to work 70 to 80 hours per week. After so many years of that, I was fairly burned out on the food industry so when I finished college, I started looking around for something else, something to do with computers.
My first non-food job was working for Iomega doing technical support. I took a massive pay cut to work there, but I was working with computers and I didn’t go home smelling like burritos every night. But, Iomega was just a stepping stone. The whole time I was teaching myself web design and looking for a job in the field.
My first web design job was at Intel working on their web sites. I was making about $30, 000 a year, which was pretty good for an entry-level designer, but, as I learned from fast-food, the only way to move up and make more money was to learn about the business and apply myself.
A few years later I was making $120, 000 a year as a manager of a team of designers. I was back working 80 hours a week, but the money more than made up for it.
That is the story of how I went from flipping burgers to making six-figures a year.
This post is in response to the Daily Posts’ Daily Prompt: If You Leave. We were asked to write about:
Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?