4 lessons you can learn from an entry-level job

Everyone dreams of stepping off the graduation stage and landing a dream job, but unfortunately, that isn’t the reality. The majority of new employees start on the bottom rung, and it can be a long climb up from there.

While entry-level positions are often low-paying, they do provide excellent training and the experience necessary for jobs higher up the ladder.

As you begin your new entry-level role, keep in mind these important lessons:

1) Your Dream Job May Not be Your Dream Job

Plenty of careers look glamorous from the sidelines. Maybe you envy that tour director because she goes on trips around the world, and gets paid $75,000 a year to do it. It certainly sounds like a cushy gig. Score a job as the tour director’s assistant, and a different reality may reveal itself. Maybe she misses every major holiday with her family due to work schedule, and, let’s say she goes on five two-week trips a year for the job. That’s 336 hours straight on-call. Do the math, and you might discover that salary translates into a rather un-glamorous hourly rate.

Starting at the bottom rung gives you the opportunity to observe what’s going on above you. You may discover it’s not the ladder you want to climb.


2) Jobs are More than Just a Paycheck

Some jobs feel like nothing more than pressing the letters and numbers on a keyboard. Sometimes it’s hard to see why it matters. Working for Burt’s Bees (lip balm company) or the identity theft protection company, LifeLock, might seem like completely different careers, yet, both affect people’s lives in positive ways by providing them with tools for health, safety, and longevity.

Look for a role that you will find rewarding regardless of the type of company. When you find the human element in a career, it will remind you why every job matters.


3) Many Good Workers Never Advance

As a newcomer to the employment world, you probably have some preconceived notions about how companies work in terms of promotion and advancement. Come in on time with a good attitude, give them more than they expect of you, and the decision-makers are sure to send you up the ranks. While this is nice in theory, it doesn’t always hold true in the real world. That’s not to say it never happens, but there’s often more to it than just being good at your job.

When you work directly with people who have never been promoted, you realize advancement doesn’t always depend upon skill or desire. From an entry-level position, you can get a feel for the company and your chance of advancing within it, which gives you the opportunity to look for better prospects before settling in.


4) Kindness is a Vital Job Skill

When you start at the bottom, you have no choice but to be nice. With everyone above you in seniority and title, saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can get you into trouble, or even fired. This is a lesson worth strapping to your back and carrying with you up the ladder. Chances are, at some point in your career, you will have a boss who makes you miserable. By paying attention to those things the boss does that makes you dread showing up for work each day, you’ll realize how much kindness makes a difference in employees’ job satisfaction.

Kindness is as much of an asset as computer skills. Adopt it as the basis of your work attitude, so when you get to where you want to be, you will treat those beneath you with the respect you wish you’d been given.

Guest post by SocialMonsters 

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