I started working at age 13. Well, work… I guess you can call it work. Back then I was delivering advertisements and flyers (you know, these little newspaper like things in which retailers advertise their products).
After School Jobs
In The Netherlands it’s pretty common that children of age 13-14 have a job like this. It takes about 2-4 hours per week, usually on a Saturday or Sunday. It must have been funny to watch me have a go at it. I was a skinny (178 cm, 55 kg) kid, trying to wrestle my bicycle through town with 50 kilograms of paper strapped to the back of the bike.
It didn’t make much money, no. I believe I earned something like 2 cents per address I delivered to. It worked out to be about 5 or 6 euros for a couple of hours of work. But then there was the Christmas bonus, in which you would deliver holiday cards to people and they would tip you. I made about 300 euros in tips during the holiday season.
Real Work At a Young Age
Of course, the above job didn’t make me who I am today. It did taught me to work hard, but with working early I meant that I started working in my current profession at age 20, while I was attending university!
Honestly, that has increased my income quite a lot compared to my peers. After my first internship, I was asked to stay on board as a part-time consultant while finishing my studies. It paid better than the supermarket job I worked, plus it gave me relevant work experience.
I started out in my career when I was just under 21 years-old. Now that I’m 26, with five years of experience, my career got launched. By starting to work so early, I now have a lot of experience compared to my peers.
We even hired some junior consultants straight out of school that are older than me! Their reasoning for being slow through school was that you can always work. And that they have to work until 70+ anyway, so why start so early?
You. Can. Retire. Earlier.
How often does it need to be said? You don’t have to keep doing this until you are 70 years old. It is very doable to retire, say, ten years earlier at 60. People will look at you like that lucky bastard that got out early.
It is even possible to retire way earlier. My goal is to be done by age 40. That might be a stretch, but seriously even if I completely miss that goal, getting out at age 50 sounds like a dream.
The fact that our official retirement age is being stretched doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be working from an early age. It can only accelerate your path to financial freedom.
At what age did you start working?