Seattle Chocolate Co. Top Executive Recalls Her First Job

CEO Jean Thompson discusses lessons learned

This article appears in print in the January/February 2020 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Where: My first job was at Dairy Queen in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. My best friend, Liz, worked there and recommended me.

Pay: $4 an hour.

Do differently? I would have been more generous with my mother’s (paid, take-home) sundaes, so she wouldn’t remind me of my stinginess all the time!

Lesson learned: It’s a “nickel and dime” business. Every transaction makes a difference. … I learned the importance of enjoying your co-workers [and] just how valuable every experience you have is.

Advice: Take the job and a chance, and start your journey. Don’t wait for the perfect job before jumping in.

Seattle Chocolate Co. is a Tukwila-based confections company launched in 1991 that sells locally made, small-batch chocolate bars and truffles.

Tell us about your first job here.

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