Advancing in an Entry-Level Job

Accepting an entry-level job after you have graduated from high school or college is the first step toward accomplishing your career goals.

While you might not be able to start a position in your desired field right away, the experience of your first entry-level job can prepare you for new challenges in the future. If you have received an entry-level job in your preferred career field, advancement from this position is essential if you want to consistently work toward your long-term goals.

There are a few ways you can successfully advance your career while in an entry-level job, regardless of what field you work in. In general, your attitude and willingness to take on new projects can help you secure a promotion sooner than you originally anticipated. Whether you want to move through the ranks in your current company or you are hoping to change careers, use the information below to help you identify the tools you need to advance effectively.

How to Develop a More Productive Outlook

One of the easiest ways to prepare yourself for career advancement is to develop a positive and productive outlook. If you are currently working at an entry-level job that is not in your desired career field, feeling excited about your position may seem difficult. However, adjusting your perspective on your present situation may bring you closer to reaching your goals. Furthermore, the attitude you have toward your work is evident to those around you. Thus, having a positive outlook will help you to present a desirable work performance to your colleagues and superiors, which could lead to eventual advancement opportunities. By maintaining a certain level of excitement and commitment to your tasks at hand, you will feel better when you walk into work each day.

In addition, your boss may be more likely to select you for an upcoming promotion if he or she feels as though you are fully committed to the company and excited to be at work every day. Having a positive and productive outlook can provide you with a competitive advantage over other workers, and may open new possibilities for you in your current workplace. If you consistently show up with a positive attitude and a constructive mindset, you will be more likely to impress your supervisors. In doing so, you may also present yourself with the opportunity to receive a better recommendation from your employer should you choose to leave the company. If you want to advance from an entry-level job into a mid-level job in your desired field, having a strong recommendation from your previous employer can help you secure a new position more easily.

How to Begin Advancing from Your Current Role

If you want to grow within the company you currently work for, you will need to take a few essential steps to achieve this progression. Therefore, you must prove to your superiors that you are capable of handling more work and can serve several functions at once. For example, if your entry-level job is in business administration and you want to work in the marketing department at your company, you should start taking on tasks related to marketing projects that can prove your ability in the field. Moreover, you may speak with your boss about your interest in a different field, allowing him or her to provide you responsibilities that relate to that role. Additional ways you can begin advancing from your current role include:

  • Work on your networking skills: You may be able to develop beneficial connections with your coworkers and superiors by learning how to network properly. Spending time with your colleagues can also help you to develop a positive support system within the workplace. You may decide to ask your boss if he or she would like to have a coffee break together one day where you can discuss ideas for a project. Your willingness to connect with others will help you to impress your superiors and will strengthen your presence in the workplace.
  • Focus on the traits you will be able to apply to any role: Focusing on these traits will help you transition into a new position more easily. If you focus your efforts on displaying traits such as punctuality and problem-solving, you will be able to use these tools to your advantage. When applying to a higher-level role, you will want to prove to your boss that you have the necessary skills to be selected for the job, even if the new position is in a different department.

How to Work Toward Landing Your Dream Job

If you want to advance from your entry-level role to your dream job, using your free time to gain skills in your desired field can bring you closer to reaching that goal. By developing your experience in your preferred career while you are still working in your entry-level role, you will be able to prepare yourself for advancement opportunities when they present themselves. For instance, if you are currently working in human resources but you want to work in the finance department instead, taking a few finance or accounting courses in your free time can help you develop the skills needed to make this transition happen. Overall, changing careers is all about gaining expertise in a different field. Free courses available online are offered by organizations such as:

  • Udemy
  • Open Culture
  • Khan Academy

Each of these educational platforms offers classes for free in a wide range of subjects. Specifically, Open Culture offers free courses from notable institutions, such as Harvard University and Yale University. While these programs will not earn you a degree, they will assist you in building your portfolio and skill sets.

Regardless of the position you currently hold, utilizing your free time to gain skills in your preferred field will help you to secure your dream job whenever it becomes available. Furthermore, networking is a key advancement skill you should cultivate. If you spend time networking properly, you may identify connections among professionals that you did not know existed. These connections may also bring you closer to landing your dream job.

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