Tutoring and guarding malls, Twitter users talk first jobs

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Team Careers360
Nov 18, 2020 – 11:23 a.m. IST

NEW DELHI: Tutoring, selling kerosene on the black market, working as a security guard in a mall — the first jobs were not glamourous and brought a modest income. But first pay-cheques, no matter where they are earned, are always a critical step in one’s professional life. On Wednesday, Twitter users reminisced about their first jobs and pay-cheques on the micro-blogging site, gathering the posts by tagging them with “#Age21” and later, “#Age17”.

In a response to a query posted on Twitter, ostensibly for research, hundreds of Twitter users shared their first salary and when they received it.

For many, it was a private tutoring job which earned them their first salary. Others recounted earning their first pay doing odd jobs at shops and offices. One had worked as a security guard at a mall; another, as a data-entry operator; and a third was a helper at a pharmacy. Many also shared that their first income was from internship opportunities and other jobs they bagged at a young age. Some made decent wages; some earned pitifully small amounts from odd-jobs or as salespersons.

However, very few Twitter users mentioned the year they started working making any analysis of how salaries have changed near-impossible. Also, given how India’s education system is structured, 21 is the age at which many are expected to graduate college. At 17, most students are in high-school, Class 11 or 12.

Here are some of the experiences people tweeted.

Odd jobs

One worked at a pet fish shop at age 14 earning Rs 2 for every four-hour shift — it is not clear which year this was. Another student worked as an office assistant at 18 and during the Class 12 summer vacation, earning Rs 5,000.


A large number said that they began earning by privately tutoring school children. Many recounted their first job as a tutor which began at age 16 for some. Sixteen, incidentally, is when many students graduate Class 10 — the first major public school exam — and join the senior secondary level, or Class 11.


Research fellowship and grants while studying in a university is also a source of first incomes for students.


Internships are most crucial for learning and gaining experience right at the beginning of one’s career. For many, paid internships fetched them their first salaries.

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