Jennifer Aniston Reveals the Surprising Pre-Fame Job She Quit After One Day

"In my brain, I don’t know how I survived the day."

Jennifer Aniston was only 25 years old when Friends premiered in 1994, so it's hard to imagine her as anything other than a performer. But, Aniston did odd jobs outside of acting before she became famous, including one gig that only lasted a day. During a recent interview on The Tonight Show, Aniston shared that she was asked to do an unexpected task when she was working part-time at her mom's job and that it led to a pretty scary experience. Read on to find out what job Aniston had for just one day and to learn more about her life, pre-game.

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Aniston had a very brief career as a bike messenger.

Jennifer Aniston appearing virtually on "The Tonight Show" in September 2021
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

On The Tonight Show, Aniston and host Jimmy Fallon talked about the jobs they had before becoming famous and about the early commercial auditions they went on. When Fallon shared that he auditioned for an ad in which he would have played a bike messenger, Aniston shared that she actually was one…for one shift.

"I was a bike messenger for a day in New York City," the actor said. "I worked at an advertising agency after school. My mom actually worked there. So, to make extra money, I would do odd jobs. And one day their bike messenger just didn't show up. And they were like, 'Can you ride a bike?' And I was like, 'Yeah, I can ride a bike.'"

The job was more dangerous than she expected.

Jennifer Aniston appearing virtually on "The Tonight Show" in September 2021
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Riding a bike through Manhattan is no joke, especially when you're inexperienced and carrying deliveries. Aniston realized this quickly. "Now, mind you, in Central Park I can ride a bike with soft areas to land," she said. "I just boldly said yes and they gave me this bag and they put all these cylinders in this bag."

Aniston continued, "In my brain, I don't know how I survived the day. To be on 5th Avenue with traffic and all that I was holding. I think I might have gotten into a cab just to finish the day." She added, "I don't know what happened to the bike. It's all a blur."

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She also worked as a waiter.

Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of "Wanderlust" in 2012
Featureflash Photo Agency /

When Aniston was looking to get her start as an actor, she worked in a restaurant as a host and then a waiter. "I was a terrible waitress," Aniston said on The Late Show in 2019, adding that she dropped plates. "I had slippery fingers as a waitress," she continued. Still, she stuck with the job for two-and-a-half years and landed her first on-camera acting job in a commercial for Bob's Big Boy.

Working as a waiter shaped how she views others in the profession. When host Stephen Colbert said that working the job means she appreciates good service, Aniston responded, "I sure do. And I always tip very, very well." Aniston went on to play a server on Friends and in the movie Office Space.

She tried out some other surprising gigs.

Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of "Office Christmas Party" in 2016
Tinseltown /

In a 2019 interview with InStyle, Aniston opened up about some other jobs she took on while she waited for her big break. She said that, by the time Friends premiered, "I had moved away from home. I had been on six failed television shows. I waitressed for years in New York before I got anything. And I was a telemarketer selling time-shares in the Poconos. I didn't make one sale. I was terrible at it. I was like, 'Why do we have to call people at dinnertime?'"

Her first job ever actually has a connection to her new business venture. "I cut hair for 10 bucks a head in junior high," she said. She even cut the hair of her father, actor John Aniston. "I cut my dad's hair, and he was on a soap opera [Days of Our Lives]. But then he admitted to me 15 years ago that he would go in and have the hairdresser on set clean it up." Aniston just launched a haircare line called LolaVie.

RELATED: The Worst Jennifer Aniston Movie of All Time, According to Critics.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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