Career Planning

Before They Were Prez: Job Tips from Our Founding Fathers

Nealeigh Mitchell, Steve Berman, Saunders Moore | NonProfitPeople

February 16, 2010

Abraham Lincoln

Prior Experience: Postmaster, Business Owner, and Wrestler

As a man from humble means, Honest Abe found work wherever it appeared. His resume got off to a floating start when he took to the helm of a flatboat and piloted goods from his hometown in Illinois to New Orleans. However, after several trips, he decided to stay on land and work as a clerk at the town’s general store. He spent his free time at a local wrestling ring perfecting his pins.

Later he was appointed town postmaster where it’s said he touted the worst efficiency record in the county. After getting into law school on the second go-round, Abe started on his rocky political path toward losing eight elections before he became the 16th President.

Moral of the story: Dust yourself off and try again. If you’re not sure what you want to do or where to find a job, just jump in. As soon as you try a few things, you’ll not only gain confidence and experience, but likely, a better sense of direction for the rest of your career.

Next Page: The “Veto President”