Can’t stand your job? Feel like it’s getting you nowhere? Try not to panic. Even if you’re in a ‘character building’ job that feels like a one-way ticket to nowheresville – it’s helpful to remember that some of the biggest names in the world had to start somewhere.

Yesterday Barack Obama gave an emotional speech to his young volunteers (there were tears involved – it was adorbs) admitting he had no idea what he wanted to do when he was 25, so even if you’re in an awful job or just totally clueless about what you want to do, there’s hope for you yet. He’s doing alright(ish) these days after all.

Need more inspiration? Take a look at the first-time jobs these influential people had when they were a bit younger:

1.) Simon Cowell- A&R executive, producer, entrepreneur and general TV bloke

His Dad got him his first job working in the post room at EMI

2.) Richard Branson – founder and chairman of Virgin Media Group

Branson started young, launching a national student magazine by the time he was 15

3.) Oprah Winfrey – TV entrepreneur and the first black, female billionaire

Initially worked in a grocery store next to her father’s shop in Nashville, Tennessee but got into media pretty quickly – at aged 16 she read news for her local radio station.

4.) Orlando Bloom – actor and general dream boat

Bloom started off his professional life at 13 working at a skeet shooting range as a clay pigeon trapper. Whatever the hell that is.

5.) Beyonce Knowles – musician, owner of big hair, mother of Blue Ivy

Started paying her bills bills bills by sweeping up hair in her mum’s hair salon.

6.) Duncan Bannatyne – entrepreneur and TV Dragon

Sold ice cream in Jersey. Obviously.

7.) Warren Buffet – most successful investor of the 20th Century and chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Ran a newspaper delivery business from the age of 13 and already had an eye for business – he took a deduction for the use of his bicycle on his paper route.

8.) Amy Adams – three time Oscar nominated actress

Adam’s didn’t start off the glamazon she is today – she spent two months working as a Hooters girl as her first job after high school. Nice.

9.) Ozzy Osbourne – musician, mumbler and bat enthusiast

Osbourne got some early practice dealing with the macabre working at a slaughterhouse.

10.) Matthew McConaughey – actor and sometime bongo player

Spent some time shovelling chicken manure. Fruity.

11.) Rod Stewart – singer, people like his body and think that he’s sexy

Started off as a gravedigger. Spooky.

12.) Michael Dell – chairman of Dell Computer Corp. obvs

Dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant

13.) Stephen King – author

Worked as a janitor and was cleaning a girls’ locker room when he got inspiration to write the novel ‘Carrie’.

14.) William Watkins – former CEO of Seagate Technology

Worked night shifts at a mental hospital.

15.) P Diddy – rapper and wearer of ‘bling’

Was a paperboy – that’s probably what the ‘p’ stands for.

16.) Brad Pitt – actor, one half of celebrity uber-couple and star of embarrassing perfume campaign

Dressed up as a chicken for a fast food establishment. They HID HIS FACE. Disgraceful.

17.) Agyness Deyn – model/actress/dream

Worked in a chip shop when she was 16

18.) Ronan Dunne – CEO of O2

Carrying on with the chip theme – Dunne used to work at McDonalds

19.) Madonna – if you have to ask you’ll never know

The material girl used to work in Dunkin’ Doughnuts

20.) David Beckham – footballer and seller of pants

Collected beer glasses and ash trays at Walthamstow dog track

21.) Victoria Beckham – designer and terrible singer

His Mrs. didn’t do much better – she dressed as a roller skating sperm on a sex education programme.

22.) James Brown – Godfather of Soul who dances till he feels better

Racked balls at a pool hall.

23.) Bill Murray – Ghost Buster

Sold chestnuts outside a grocery store

24.) Anna Wintour – ice queen and Vogue editor

Ever the fashionista, Wintour worked at Biba at 15.

25.) Jamie Oliver –do-gooder and chef

Worked as a pastry chef at Carluccio’s

26.) Caitlin Moran – columnist, author, feminist and badass

Was a writer for Melody Maker from the ripe old age of 15.

And some from Twitter:

Cheryl Warner, beer marketer and lingerie blogger: Box picker in Argos

Kyle Wilkinson, radio broadcaster: Dressed up in a huge fox costume and let people chase him around supermarket car parks. If they caught him they won money. Kerching!

Lucy Quick, web editor of Soho House: Was a waitress at Pizza Hut.

Dennis Mooney, student: Scraping burnt risotto off pans for £3.50 an hour

Anna Ribenfors, chalet girl: got paid to sit in the school toilets to stop chavs smoking

Jake Tucker, content strategist: was the night supervisor for a local convenience store

Callum McDonald, radio presenter and hotel manager: was a drag burlesque dancer

Nicola Gibbons, Hope and Glory PR: Was sacked from her dog-walking job because she couldn’t get the dog to walk. A fatal flaw.

Lorna Davies – journalist: Egg collecting at a hen farm.