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Top 10 Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs on First Jobs

Doris Benitez
Reading time: 6 min

Struggling to land your first job?

The good news is that we’ve all been there and things are about to get way better for you.

There are plenty of no experience jobs to help you get your foot in through the door and develop some skills. You may think that your first job doesn’t count, but there are quite a few successful entrepreneurs who respectfully disagree.

Did you know that Jamal Edwards was a shelf stacker at Topman and is now the founder of SBTV?  You never know, you could be the founder of London’s next hottest app or own the pizza chain you’re currently delivering pizzas for.

Let’s see what these entrepreneurial superheroes have to say:

Jamal Edwards

“Have a day job, any job!”

Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora and Tinchy Stryder were all launched by SBTV, Jamal’s Youtube musical platform and now has millions of global subscribers.

Edwards used his Topman wages to invest in cameras, a mic and kit he required for SBTV. It helped him to pay bills whilst still focusing on his craft.  He advises to do your business as a side-hustle until it takes off the ground and to have a day job that will help make ends meet. This way, you’re free from financial worries and have a steady income to inject into your project. 

If you’d like a chance to get some tips from the media guru himself in person, enter the competition #WorksForMe and share your ideas.  


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“You have to take risks to really get to where you want to go in life.”

Did you know Pewdiepie, the famous Youtube gamer commentator/comedian, was a hot dog seller before he hit it big time?

He was actually pursuing a degree at industrial economics and technology management at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Pewdiepie felt it was not the right path for him and took a risk: he quit college.

Unhappy with his decision, his parents compelled him to take up a job – any job. He continued making Youtube videos and knew he’d made the right decision when he received his first Youtube revenue check in his post. 


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“Be who you want to be!”

Zoella was a shop assistant before her beauty blog took off. Her advice? “If you love something, just do it”, she says. Being passionate about your job is super important and even if that’s not your first job, it’s alright. You can hone basic skills such as communication and customer service. 

Will Shu

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“My biggest piece of advice is do something that you actually care about personally.”

Agreeing with Zoella, former banking analyst and now CEO of Deliveroo, Will Shu is passionate about food. He started Deliveroo because he wanted other people to receive their food deliveries quickly. Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that can change the world.

Stewart Butterfield

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“Adopt an “experimental attitude””

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Flickr and Chief Executive of Slack, shares that if you still don’t know what you’re passionate about, dip your feet in different waters to get a feel of what you like best. His first job was with his friend’s start-up,

Akshay Ruparelia

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“If your mum gives you a bit of advice, take it.”

As one of the youngest millionaires in the country, Akshay is revolutionising how you can sell your home with the launch of his site Doorsteps, where you can list your home for only £99.

Wow! He’s come a long way from his first job as a Spanish cinema attendant. 

His insights to success include:

  • If your mum gives you a bit of advice, take it. Mums know more than you’ll ever realise. That’s why I’m employing an army of them across the country to work for
  • Read books, lots of books. The biography of Ryanair founder Michael O’Leary I read has changed my life. (This is how his idea for Doorsteps was born!)
  • If your gut instinct about setting up a business feels right, just go with it. You’ll never make a million if you don’t take risks.

Richard Branson

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“Never look back in regret — move on to the next thing”

Mothers play an important role in our lives. It’s no different for Richard Branson as he was taught that setbacks are just a learning curve. If something doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up for it. Move on to your next project. 

Branson learnt from the young age of eleven how to manage such situations. He bought small Christmas plants and hoped to make a profit of it by selling them when they grew. Unfortunately, it din’t quite work that way.

J.K. Rowling

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“Embrace failure”

Speaking of setbacks, J.K Rowling, author of best-selling series Harry Potter, had her fair share before fame came her way. As a formal English teacher in Portugal, she was a single mom living off welfare before publishers took interest in her books. 

Timo Boldt

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“Accept support from those who share your passion.”

Timo Boldt, founder of Gousto, the UK’s leading recipe kit company, states that it’s smart to trust your gut and to accept help from people who share your dream. This could be anyone – your friends and family as well. In 2012,  the online grocery industry was still young and Boldt saw its potential. Combined with his love for food, Boldt launched Gousto and left his job as a project manager at a car manufacture. 

Poppy Gustaffson

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“Don’t ever accept someone saying they can’t.”

Leading one of the UK’s most promising AI start-ups, Dark Trace, Poppy Gustaffson is a force to be reckoned with. Poppy shares that you should never think you can’t do something and nor to accept someone else stating the same. Be courageous and just take action. What are you waiting for?

If you’re looking for your first job, you can still create a brilliant cv with zero experience. As Poppy said, it’s time to take action! Just download the JOB TODAY app now, create your profile within seconds and start applying for jobs whilst you work on your next big idea!