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Making The Most Of An Entry Level Job

Nov 29, 2007
When beginning any job, you may envision yourself in a corner office or leading a team on a highly sought project. However, the reality is that you will more likely begin almost any job in an entry level position until you have gained sufficient experience to help move up the company ladder. Even graduating from college with an impressive degree does not guarantee you will be hired as anything more than a low level assistant to begin. That is the unfortunate real-life experience of many new college graduates. Realizing you need to make the most of your entry level position will help you more quickly work toward better, higher responsible opportunities.

You must learn the basics of working in your particular field and company procedures before you progress to a more preferable position. To thoroughly learn the ropes and become as valuable as possible, volunteer to do at least some of the work others typically avoid and excel at it with a great, how-can-I-best-serve-here attitude. Just because you may think a task is beneath you and your degree doesn't mean you should walk past it. Many company managers give weight to dedication and hard work over experience, and will often promote people who show they can, for example, file reliably or answer phones with enthusiasm. These jobs are the foundation of any good company. Without knowing them inside and out, you will stunt your growth and success potential, even when you do reach higher positions.

Try to look at your entry level job as a stepping stone; the more efficiently you do it, the faster you will succeed. It is not unusual to read of people who start in a job or business from scratch only to own a company just a few years later, while those who do not embrace an entry level job seriously - or skip it altogether - wind up in the same position for much longer than is otherwise needed. Show enthusiasm, passion, and efficiency no matter what kind of work you do. The more sincere effort you display, the more decision-making eyes you catch.

This is the time to build a plan of mastering your skills within the job. For example, if you have a science degree but can't type very fast, you can use some of this time to improve. You will never regret the ability to type well, regardless of your career!

Additionally, consider learning an additional computer program your company uses so that when you do move up you won't need to commit time to learning it then when you will almost invariably be positioned in a busier role. The more enthusiasm you show for learning, the more apt your management will be influenced to promote you.

You should also use this time to develop expertise on customer service. It doesn't matter if you never talk to anyone on the phone or in person; you must be able to excel at interpersonal relationships because at some point you will use these customer service skills to better your company and your own position.

There are many qualities necessary for you to succeed at moving up into positions of greater responsibility (and therefore greater reward) in any company. The earlier you develop them, the better off you will be when the job of your dreams becomes available.
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