It all started with a lyric. Or at least the search for a lyric. Singer-songwriter Marian Call asked her followers on Twitter about their first seven jobs to help her with a new song about work, according to an article on And soon, the hashtag #FirstSevenJobs started trending and thousands of tweets started scrolling across the Twitter timeline and, now, into The Daily News. We asked local officials for their first seven jobs, and here’s what they shared.


Dawn Rochelle, executive director of the Onslow County Partnership for Children

1. Babysitter

2. Food prep and cashier

3. Bus driver

4. Clerk

5. Night manager

6. Ad salesperson

7. Facilitator


Richard Woodruff, Jacksonville city manager

1. Bus boy

2. Parking hop

3. House painter

4. Planner

5. Director of comprehensive planning

6. Assistant county manager

7. City manager


Sara Gant, owner of Art Works

1. Swimming pool attendant

2. McDonald’s cashier

3. Resident assistant

4. Gallery intern

5. Museum intern

6. Education coordinator

7. Art educator


Jeff Hudson, Onslow County Manager

1. Stock boy

2. Book seller

3. Burkot Dorm Resident Assistant

4. Intern

5. Town Manager

6. Assistant/Deputy County Manager

7. Assistant Superintendent

Ronald Lingle, president of Coastal Carolina Community College

1. Maintenance worker

2. Grocery bagger

3. Newspaper proofreader

4. University residence hall counselor

5. US Army medical evacuation helicopter pilot

6. Commander for US Army Crash Rescue Helicopter Pilot at US Army Aviation School in Alabama

7. Assisstant Dean of Instruction


Craig Wagner, president of United Way of Onslow County

1. Director

2. Community Programs Coordinator

3. Leadership mentor

4. Director of communications/marketing

5. Director of community development & media relations

6. President/chief professional officer

7. CEO/Founder


Joseph Pierce, Holly Ridge town manager

1. Construction laborer

2. Army infantryman

3. Police officer

4. City manager


Larry Bergman, Surf City town manager

1. Grass mower

2. Pizza maker

3. Lab assistant

4. Chemical analyst

5. Intern

6. Town manager

7. Information Technology Director


Gregg Whitehead, Richlands town administrator

1. Busboy

2. Game room manager

3. Grocery stock boy

4. Rose’s stock boy

5. Customer service representative

6. Modular Installer

7. Research assistant

Rick Stout, Onslow County Schools superintendent

1. Gas station worker

2. Produce department manager

3. House builder

4. Exterminator

5. Teacher

6. Assistant Principal

7. Principal

Chris Seaberg, Cedar Point town administrator

1. Grass mower

2. Seed dissemination

3. Flower delivery

4. Convenience store manager

5. Clothing delivery

6. Intern

7. Digital Mapping Software Planner

And as an added bonus, here are the #firstsevenjobs for Daily News staffers:

Editorial Assistant Anita Perrin

1. Waitress

2. Lawn maintenance

3. Secretary

4. Police dispatcher

5. Domestic engineer

6. Navy Marine Corps Relief Society volunteer

7. Newsroom secretary

Crime Reporter Amanda Thames:

1. Order taker

2. Seat finder

3. Golf cart driver

4. Makeup applier

5. Electronics dealer

6. Phone answerer

7. Freelance writer

Features Reporter Michaela Sumner:

1. Babysitter

2. Milkshake maker

3. Student cashier

4. Student assistant

5. Bank intern

6. Resident assistant

7. Freelance writer

Government Reporter Michael Todd:

1. 14 years old. Parking-lot attendant. I sat outside Sweetwater Surf Shop at Wrightsville Beach, charged $10 daily to tourists and read novels by John Steinbeck.

2. 15-16 years old. Dishwasher. King Neptune Restaurant at Wrightsville Beach. They eventually called me ‘Wonder Boy’ because they wondered if I would show up after a perilous laying-out of work on the busiest holiday of the year. I wasn’t built for that line of work.

3. 16 years old. Carpenter. Downtown Wilmington. The summer I went to Panama, I worked with a relative restoring a house in the poor part of downtown. I would go to lunch at Nixon’s with a man of questionable ilk and learned to love the language uttered by real people.

4. 17-18 years old. Dish dweeb, deliverer at Vito’s Pizzeria in Wrightsville Beach. I learned how not to be a picky eater by taking orders from people paying only $1.50 per delicious slice.

5. 19 years old. Worked as a bookseller at a chain bookshop. I got fed up when my boss complained about my beard stubble while earning minimum wage.

6. 19-20ish years old. Tile setter and granite-counter installer. 7. 20-21ish years old. Tile settter, hardwood-floor installer in Wilmington for a company that didn’t advertise -- and for good reason. Most of its crew were of questionable ilk. Myself excluded. Perhaps that’s why I had so many responsibilities.


Eastern Onslow County Reporter Jannette Pippin:

1. Babysitting

2. Newspaper delivery girl (filled in for a neighbor for a week)

3. Daily News intern (two summers)

4. UNC International Center (work study job)

5. Daily Tar Heel reporter

6. Mount Olive Tribune reporter

7. Daily News (full time 23 years)

Interim Managing Editor/Online Editor Amanda Humphrey:

1. Pinecone picker upper

2. Babysitter

3. McDonalds cashier/fry maker

4. Telemarketer

5. Food Lion cashier/office

6. Pizza delivery driver (for one day)

7. Reporter for The Daily News

Editor Cyndi Brown:

1. Burger King cashier

2. TG&Y (five-and-dime store) clerk

3. Belk clerk (accessories department)

4. Restaurant hostess (in Austin, Texas)

5. Waitress (in Orlando, Florida)

6. More waitressing (at Walt Disney World)

7. Corporate writer (for a resort in Kissimmee, Florida)


Sports writer Chris Miller

1. Grass cutter

2. Christmas tree seller

3. Chick-Fil-A

4. Church council member

5. Jacksonville Rec & Parks after school program staff

6. JDN sports correspondent

7. JDN sports writer