What Were CEOs' First Jobs? 59 Female Leaders Share Their Path To Success

What Were CEOs' First Jobs? 59 Female Leaders Share Their Path To Success

For the third year in a row, Bustle's Upstart Awards are honoring young women who are doing incredible things in the realms of business, STEM, fashion and beauty, the arts, philanthropy, and beyond. Want to be an Upstarts honoree one day? Read on for career tips, insights, and inspiration to help get you there.

"I’ve worked since I was 13. I’ve always had multiple jobs at once — I found it allowed me freedom of choice when it comes to having the resources to do the things I enjoyed, and it was also a good outlet for me and the energy I have to stay busy and energized. My first W2 job was a dishwasher at a restaurant. I worked after school, holidays, nights; packing in as many hours as I could. Before graduating college, I moved to Dallas for three months, working at a behavioral clinic for children. Kids with conditions like ADHD, bipolar disorder, Asperger’s and Autism came here for help. Though this was a temporary job by design — I worked there for three months — it was the hardest job I’ve ever had; even harder than what I do now. It was difficult because it was so emotionally challenging; I couldn’t just leave my job at the clinic at night, and I always felt like the impact I had needed to be more...more...more. Experiencing wins felt small to me although they were incredibly important and meaningful to the children. It was almost overwhelming in that it was one person at a time, and I knew I would never be able to help everyone in a way that was satisfying to the hunger I've always had to drive big change through people. I wanted to impact people on a larger scale.

Every job you have is a stepping stone to what you are doing today. At least it should. It does for me. My job at the clinic brought out in me the desire to instill large-scale behavior change for people. As the CEO of YouEarnedIt and as an entrepreneur in tech, it’s clear that this same notion of caring deeply about driving change at scale can be accomplished through the intersection of positive behavior change and tech for scale, which is what we do at YouEarnedIt."

Autumn Manning