You can do it too: These seven billionaires had ordinary jobs before amassing their wealth

These billionaires went from counting cents to almost incomprehensibly large wards of cash. File picture

These billionaires went from counting cents to almost incomprehensibly large wards of cash. File picture

Published Mar 14, 2024


In the world of billionaires, some success tales often have humble and surprising origins.

These early experiences, while not glamorous, had an important influence in shaping the lives of some of the world’s wealthiest people.

According to The Small Business Blog, here are the strange and interesting early careers of renowned moguls whose unconventional paths that led to their billions:

Oprah Winfrey

First job: Grocery store clerk.

Long before becoming a media queen, Oprah Winfrey worked in a grocery shop as a clerk. Her first exposure to media came when she got a job as a radio broadcaster in high school.

Steve Jobs

First job: Video game technician.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, started his career as a video game technician. In another early endeavour, Jobs and Steve Wozniak developed the game Breakout.

Elon Musk

First job: Web developer.

Elon Musk had a strong interest in technology and space from an early age. Musk demonstrated his programming ability at the age of twelve by developing the space-themed computer game, Blastar. Surprisingly, he managed to sell the game to PC and Office Technology magazine.

Bill Gates

First job: Computer programmer.

Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder, created his first computer programme at the age of 13. Lakeside School recruited him to develop a programme for scheduling pupils’ lessons.

Mark Zuckerberg

First job: Coding enthusiast.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, created Synapse Media Player, a music recommendation programme, during his high school years. Microsoft and AOL expressed interest in it, and Zuckerberg contemplated selling it, but nothing materialised.

Jeff Bezos

First job: McDonald’s crew member.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, worked at fast food restaurant, McDonald’s in high school. Bezos founded Amazon as an online bookshop in his garage, never expecting it to grow into an e-commerce powerhouse.

Richard Branson

First job: Student magazine founder.

At the age of 16, Richard Branson, the creator of the Virgin Group, launched Student magazine. Then, Branson’s first successful commercial endeavour was a mail-order record company, which paved the way for the Virgin brand.

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