Entry level gigs are great for learning the fundamentals of an industry and for getting some work experience under your belt.
Unfortunately, many people end up stuck in the entry-level segment of their company due to their inability to raise the level of their career game.
Below are 5 strategies for navigating the entry level job landscape:
1. Polish up your appearance
Upgrading your wardrobe on an entry level salary can be challenging but, not impossible. Set aside some money each paycheck and build your wardrobe slowly. Within a few a months, you will be on your way to having a new wardrobe.
Some entry level positions consist of certain physical tasks which can make wearing formal business attire somewhat of a job hazard. In these instances, make sure that your uniform/clothing is clean, pressed, and in good working order.
2. Be a superstar in your current position
Bring both a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and a willingness to go the extra mile to your job every day. In addition, arrive to work on time, avoid taking long lunches, and don’t constantly ditch out of work ten minutes before your shift ends.
3. Raise your visibility
Participate in your company’s extracurricular activities such as: athletic teams, fundraisers, parties, mentoring programs, and/or other events. Be on your best behavior during these extra-curricular activities. Management and HR are more than likely keeping a watchful eye on employee behavior during these functions. In addition, consider becoming an active member of your local Administrative Professional organization. These types of business organizations will help you to make valuable contacts.
4. Obtain additional training and certifications
Depending on the industry, making the leap out of the entry level trenches may require obtaining additional education. Research the standard requirements for moving out of the entry level segment of your industry. You may only need to obtain a certification and/or Associates degree in order to get promoted to the next level.
5. Develop a long-term career strategy
Create a realistic timeline (12 to 18 months) for getting promoted internally. Be sure to check your company’s online job postings on a regular basis. Also keep in mind that it may be easier to make a lateral move to a department where you can get more experience. Sometimes, internal promotions are next to impossible to garner. For example, your company could be on a hiring freeze or reluctant to promote employees from within.
In these cases, expand your job search to include positions outside of your company.
Navigating the entry level landscape is not always an easy undertaking. However, doing so will pay off for you in the long run.