New Survey Shows First Jobs Push those in Wales into Other Careers

Everyone remembers their first job, and a new report suggests it may have a bigger influence on our future careers than we perhaps thought.  Moneypenny surveyed 2,000 UK adults and found that in Wales 20% of those surveyed said the most important thing they took away from their first job was that they’d never want to pursue it as a permanent career. Despite this, an overwhelming 91% of the Welsh surveyed admitted they enjoyed their first job.

The most common first jobs in Wales were:

–       paper round: 24%

–       retail assistant:19%

–       being a waiter: 13%

–       babysitting 10%

 Retail jobs were most popular in Wales (19%) and London (20%) compared with just 11% in the North West. Waitressing jobs were popular first jobs in Wales (13%) compared to just 4% in Yorkshire and Humberside for example.

 First job key learnings

When asked what key learning those surveyed gained from their first job, the following benefits were mentioned in Wales:

–       The value of money: 47%

–       To be punctual: 44%

–       How to work hard: 41%

–       How to communicate with people: 41%

–       How to handle money: 28%

–       Improved communication skills: 26%

–       The value of teamwork: 22%

Starting age for first jobs

There were clear regional differences in the age at which people got their first job. Those living in Yorkshire and the Humber started their working lives the earliest – 30% started at age 13 or younger for example, while in Wales just 17% started work at this age. In contrast, London had the highest number of people surveyed starting their first job at the ripe old age of 2, yet no-one in Wales started a first job at that age.

First job nepotism

Using connections to secure a first job was extremely common among those surveyed, for example 44% of the Welsh surveyed said they secured their first job through a friend or relative, which is a higher percentage than those in any other region; in contrast, just 26% in Northern Ireland got a first job through this route.

Money motivation

When asked about motivation for securing a first job, the majority of the Welsh said it was to have pocket money (66%), which is a higher percentage than for any other region.  The other most popular factor cited by the Welsh was to become more independent (26%), while 20% took the job to gain work experience and 12% were pressured by their parents to take a job.

First job hours

For all areas of the UK the average amount of hours each generation worked at their first job was very similar, at around 4.5 hours a week.  In Northern Ireland 25% said they worked 8 hours or more  at their first job, compared with just 13% of those in Wales who worked such long hours.


Joanna Swash, Group CEO for Moneypenny comments: ‘It was really encouraging to see that so many of those surveyed felt they benefitted from their first job, whether it was in improving their communication skills or learning to be punctual. First jobs really help us to build confidence, as well as building necessary skills to go after a dream job. I started out in the working world as a chip shop assistant, and learnt the value of customer service and teamwork.  We’re actively recruiting for people to start their careers with us at Moneypenny in our Wrexham office and we’d encourage anyone who is interested to visit our website

or register for the free virtual open day on Friday 23rd April \


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