As a 12 to 15 year old I did a little babysitting, but mostly mowed lawns, bathed dogs, and other odd jobs for neighbors. At age 16 I registered with the state Youth Employment and mostly cleaned houses and ironed. Later I worked as a waitress, a fry cook, and did lots at a health food juice bar. One summer I worked in the Capitol Records factory we made the Beatles "Revolver" album and Buck Owens "Tiger By The Tail".
While working some of the above jobs I earned an AA in Early Childhood Education and another in Biology, but didn't use either for a few years. Then took an Adult Education CNA course for three units (20 weeks of five hours twice a week, one 5 hour lecture and testing class and one five hour clinical.) I worked at the VA learning a lot. It was so long ago that we cared for many WWI Veterans. The WWII vets were in their 40s, and the Viet Nam Vets were my generation.
Then I married and worked at a department store lunch as a "sales girl" and then the buffet for 1 1/2 years until my pregnancy showed. They didn't let pregnant women serve customers, but they knew I was pregnant and it was OK until it became obvious.
After we bought our home I ran a licensed home day care for three years. I was paid for four kids and had my two too. Those kids are now polite successful adults and are my friends as are their parents. One, whose father is a physician is nor a surgeon himself. One extra smart little boy grew up to be an RN who is now an NP.
I devoted one year to LVN school on week days and working for Medical Personnel Pool as a CNA one weekend shift a week. Then continued with them on and off doing home care and staff relief as an LVN.
When my kids were in High school I finished my associated earning my RN license. I had taken university critical care courses with RNs earning their Clinical Nurse Specialist. It was considered masters level, but admitted all licensed nurses. I joke that I was a grad school drop out before I had a bachelor's degree. Thanks to that I was hired as a new grad orientee into the CCU after many years as an LVN. Just before turning 50 I finally finished an RN to BSN program that was easy, but expensive.