Dannel Malloy entered the workforce at the ripe age of 15 years old, admittedly before he was legally eligible to work.

He lied on his application for a retail job, saying he was 16 years old.

“I was in school and wanted to have a job,” the governor told a roomful of the state’s youngest workers attending a Connecticut Workforce Development Council event at the Capitol

The next stop on his career ladder that he shared — the manager in a women’s shoe department.

“That’s good preparation for politics,” he joked.

Malloy would eventually go on to become a sausage-meat packer, lawyer, mayor and governor.

His advice for the future young workers of the room, whom statistics say will be challenged by high rates of unemployment?

Make eye contact.

“If you don’t make eye contact when shaking hands, you’re not closing the deal,” he offered.

Asked afterwards whether his time as a shoe salesman was one of his favorite jobs, he had this to say: “It was one of the most interesting jobs.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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