So, you’ve finished your education and looking for your first job in the real world. As you search for open positions, you find yourself wanting to skip over the entry-level openings. After all, you went to school and feel you have way more to contribute than doing the grunt work involved with an entry-level position. Think again, there are some good reasons to take one of these positions out the gate, or make the best of it as it may be all your offered at first.
You don’t want to be overwhelmed starting out.
Let’s face it, the higher you climb the corporate ladder, the more that will be expected of you. The best strategy may be to get your feet wet learning about the realities of your industry that can’t be learned in the classroom. You can spend your time in an entry-level position observing and absorbing the practical skills needed to move up in the company. If you take a higher-level position right away (even if offered) and get in over your head, this can be detrimental to your emotional well-being, at the least.
You can showcase what you’re about.
Of course, working involves practical, tangible skills, but it also involves soft skills (like communication and problem-solving). Think of an entry-level position as an opportunity to shine. Stuck with doing some grunt work? Do it with an amazing attitude and ask for more. Ordered to make hundreds of copies for a meeting? Take the task on with a smile and ask if there’s anything else you can do for the meeting, like order food or prepare the conference room. Getting ahead isn’t solely about performing high-end tasks. Your managers look closely at your attitude as well.
Everybody starts somewhere.
If you’re only being offered entry-level positions for your first job and are waiting for a higher-up position, you may want to seriously consider just getting going. After all, this job is only meant to be a starting point—and you are indeed just getting started. Don’t look at it as permanent because nothing is. This entry-level job may not be perfect but neither will the more advanced position be later. The truth is, you can’t just continually get a higher education and expect to land higher positions because at some point, you must have practical job experience. Use these entry-level opportunities to gain that experience.
In addition to these points, you also want to think about the things you’ll learn from your first job, such as what it’s like to be responsible for other people. When you are in school, it’s just about you. If you fail an assignment or are late, it only affects your grade (unless it’s a group assignment). At work, you must think about your team.
There are so many things to learn from practical skills to life lessons when you take on an entry-level position. Tweak your mindset about them and have that entry-level opportunity serve you.