Past jobs of world leaders

DECCAN CHRONICLE | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Aug 17, 2015, 6:46 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 4:36 am IST
German chancellor Angela Merkel
 German chancellor Angela Merkel

Long before they won elections, shaped foreign policy, or presided over economies, these heads of state wielded their influence on a much smaller scale, earning a living in bars, restaurants and more.

===============================
Angela Merkel – Barmaid
===============================

As a student of quantum physics, the research scientist-turned-chancellor worked as a barmaid. “I got an extra 30 pfennig for each sold glass,” Merkel told a biographer. “That added up to 20 to 30 marks a week, which almost paid my room. At 7 am  classes began, the disco lasted until midnight. In between I was on the run to get cherry liquor, because that was the drink of the moment.”

===============================
Barack Obama – Waiter
===============================

In addition to scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, Obama worked as a waiter at an assisted living facility. “It was a great job, although the folks there sometimes were cranky because they were on restricted diets,” he recalled to Parade last year.

===============================
Johanna Sigurdardottir - Flight Attendant
================================

Iceland’s ex-prime minister held a job as a flight attendant on Icelandair before she shifted her focus to labour rights, working as a union organiser for the airline.

===============================
Silvio Berlusconi - Cruise Ship Singer
===============================

The (now-disgraced) former prime minister of Italy credits his days performing on cruise ships with teaching him, as The Telegraph put it, “everything he knows about working a crowd.”

===============================
Dmitry Medvedev - Street Cleaner
===============================

The Russian prime minister likes to boast that he made just 120 roubles, including bonuses, cleaning streets when he was a student. “I loved this period of my life,” he said in 2012.

===============================
Stephen Harper - Mailroom Assistant
===============================

After dropping out of the University of Toronto, Canada’s current head of government landed a job at Imperial Oil. Later, his boss there would remember Harper as a bright, hardworking young man, eager to make an impression. “My office boy was Stephen Harper. He sort of checked the cash, delivered mail and that sort of thing. He wasn’t above doing anything.”

===============================
Michael Higgins - Waiter
===============================

Ireland’s president was born into a poor family, but hoped to attend University College Galway. Against his family’s wishes, he relocated to Sussex, England, where he worked as a wine waiter to save money for school. A journalist friend who knew Higgins at the time described him as “a very pleasing, radical, clever and intelligent sensitive person”.

===============================
Pope Francis - Nightclub Bouncer
===============================

Yes, you read that correctly. The leader of the Catholic church worked as a bouncer in Buenos Aires. What’s more, he used to go dancing — and had a girlfriend. “She was part of a group of friends I went dancing with,” he explained to his biographers in 2010. “But then I discovered my religious vocation.” It’s a shame, because we would have loved to have seen him do the tango.

...




ADVERTISEMENT

More From Lifestyle

-->