About the book

Jay Leno, 1966 (Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library) - McJobs

Jay Leno, 1966 (Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library)

What do 20 million americans have in common with…

  • Jay Leno, Tonight Show host
  • Jeff Bezoz, Amazon.com founder
  • Andie MacDowell, actress, and
  • Andrew H. Card, former White House Chief of Staff

They all started their working careers at a McDonald’s Restaurant – McJob, learning some of the most important lessons of their lives.

Golden Opportunity is a myth-busting collection of 44 profiles of people who went from flipping burgers to building remarkable careers in business, the arts, politics, science, the military, and sports.

Over the past six decades, millions of teens have earned their first paychecks under the Golden Arches. Whether they stayed for a year or a career, they learned work habits, basic skills, and the business principles that have made McDonald’s one of the best-run companies in the world. These are a few of their stories, in their own words, disproving the stereotype of the dead-end McJob.

Each year McDonald’s teaches hundreds of thousands of young men and women—some of whom will become tomorrow’s leaders—business principles and work habits that will stay with them the rest of their lives. Tired of the McJob jokes and derogatory portrayals, author and McDonald’s executive Cody Teets, who started out as one of those young people, turns a popular misconception upside down with overwhelming evidence—stories of people who started out flipping burgers and went on to excel in a variety of fields and professions.

Their journeys remind us that at the beginning of every success story there is the first paycheck from the first “real” job. That first job is not a dead end, it is a young person’s rite of passage into adult responsibility. It’s not just flipping burgers, it’s the dignity of honest work. Author Cody Teets’s compelling personal story—growing up in modest circumstances with a strong work ethic—gives a unique voice to the experiences of leading entrepreneurs such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, entertainment figures like Jay Leno, and others who represent a cross section of American enterprise. They recall what they learned in their first jobs at McDonald’s – McJobs - and how those lessons helped them build their remarkable careers. You won’t be able to read these stories without wondering what today’s burger flippers will achieve tomorrow.

Profits from the sale of this book are being donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Ronald McDonald House of Charities
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