Albert Einstein struggled to find a job coming out of college. Though his grades were average, he had been a disobedient student, telling jokes and cutting class. His behavior irked many of his professors, but one, in particular, wrote unacceptable references.
Albert’s struggle to find work led his father to write letters to friends asking if they could hire his son. Unfortunately, these attempts didn’t lead to a position.
Eventually, Albert was able to find a job as a patent investigator through a friend. He evaluated patents, learned about some of the latest ideas, and used any free time to work on the scientific research that piqued his curiosity. While success was difficult to come by, within a few years, the research he published while at the patent office would turn out to be some of the most important work the scientific community had ever seen.
Sources: This photograph is of Albert at his patent office desk, taken circa 1905 / Wikimedia Commons/ https://oxsci.org/einstein-at-the-patent-office/ / https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/einstein-the-nobody/