Rocket(wo)man: How To Rocket Through Entry-Level Positions
There’s nothing worse than graduating with revving potential… then stalling for years in a low-level job. Now that the job market has mostly recovered from the Great Recession, you no longer need to be grateful for any and all employment. Instead, you should be eager to make moves that get you into the positions you desire. For most, that means promotions into upper-levels of employment – and fast.
Most employers have rules regarding raises and promotions for new employees; fortunately, there are ways to veer around them. You can accelerate your career with these tips to rocket you through your entry-level position and reach management in under a year.
Stay in school to earn upper-level credentials
In the business world, there is an ongoing war between those who believe education is ideal and those who support abundant experience.
The truth is, advanced education is typically only beneficial when you are young and inexperienced. Thus, while you are young and only qualified for low, entry-level positions, you might as well stay in school and earn the educational credentials that improve your standing. Now is the perfect time for you to earn an online accredited MBA or similar qualification, which will provide all the knowledge you could acquire through your first few years of work at an accelerated pace.
Plus, by attending school online, you can continue to accrue valuable industry experience. Online courses are flexible, so you can fit your studies into your existing work schedule. Then, once you’ve earned your advanced degree, there will be no question whether you are qualified for upper-level positions.
Demonstrate mastery of your current role
You might be able to do your job without pestering your co-workers with questions, but that doesn’t mean you are doing the best you can possibly do. Often, low-level employees will thwart their own careers by believing they have conquered their current positions, when in reality they are merely competent.
Before you can shoot up to the next level of employment, you need a clear picture of your abilities – and an understanding of how your boss views those abilities. Then, you need to steadily improve that picture, so you become consistently better than every other member of your team. “Satisfactory” should never be enough; you should be working for “excellent” or nothing at all.
Ally yourself with powerful figures
You should know by now the importance of a strong professional network. Through effective networking, you can gain invaluable career advice, acquire otherwise inaccessible employment positions, and increase your salary. However, these benefits only come if you add influential professionals to your network; individual workers who lack authority will be able to do little to impact your career.
It isn’t as difficult as you might expect to hobnob with the elite. MBA and other advanced business programs provide ample opportunities to meet and gain the support of eminent business leaders. Even outside of school, you can add the powerful and important to your network by leveraging favors, digging for contact information, and maintaining a positive outlook. Eventually, you will have a stable full of business authorities eager to help your career.
Gain support from the lower levels
Though co-workers in your entry-level positions are primarily your competition, you still stand to benefit by ingratiating yourself with them. For one, a well-liked worker stands out and superiors are more likely to consider a low-level champion for management positions. For another, if your plan to rocket past the entry-level succeeds, your current co-workers could soon be your subordinates.
Though you will never maintain the exact same rapport as you had when you were one of them, building a positive reputation in the trenches is a smart way to begin your upper-level job with lower-level support. Never write off low-level staff as below you; you need them now more than ever.
Pay close attention to timing
Unfortunately, as with too many aspects of life, moving beyond the entry level relies heavily on proper timing. For example, you shouldn’t expect to receive a raise or promotion during your industry’s off season; you’re unlikely to achieve your goal right after your employer loses its biggest client; you probably won’t be rewarded when your team’s performance is at its lowest in three years.
When making your bid for upper-level positions, pay close attention to factors that influence your employer’s willingness and ability to bring you up. Then, when the time is ripe, you must explain why your advancement is advantageous not just for you, but for your boss and business too.
When you’ve constructed the proper scaffolding, when the atmosphere is nice and then, your career will certainly skyrocket.