How to Maximize Your Time in Entry Level Jobs to Move Up Quick

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You know how everyone takes his or her coffee at your new dream job, but that won’t help you further your career. Even though an entry-level position requires some tedious work, make your time worth the effort. Entry level jobs go beyond simply making copies and organizing papers. Help distinguish your work ethic through the advice of experts in a variety of fields. Going beyond networking and socializing, other tips from employers, recent graduates and supervisors will help make your time at the bottom worth it.

Keep reading to find out how to maximize your time at entry level jobs.

1. Attend all possible meetings

While The Office probably ruined your reality of work meetings, you should still attend. Participating in meetings serves as an invaluable way to learn about your company. Not only will you learn about the inner-workings of the business, but also your superiors will notice your eagerness. “At my company, I don’t work in the sales department, but I attend the weekly sales meetings. Showing your interest helps you get a foot in the door. You are demonstrating your potential to grow within the company,” said recent FSU graduate Luca Romano.

2. Early Bird Gets the Worm

Everyone knows the big no-no of the workplace; don’t arrive late to work. But, did you know the importance of arriving early? Sure, those extra few minutes buried under warm sheets seem tempting; don’t let your bed distract you. Being the early bird provides valuable time for forming relationships. “Arrive 15 minutes early. Higher-ups notice. It also gives you an opportunity to connect with higher-ups and colleagues through casual chitchat before the day or the meeting gets underway,” said financial services entrepreneur Virginia Maher.

3. Deliver Your Best

While being reliable in college meant showing up for class, a career requires more effort. Yes, showing up for work will help you get that paycheck. But, distinguishing yourself requires demonstrating your reliability to superiors. Essentially, don’t be afraid to work hard. Ask your bosses if they have any extra work. Whether they need help or you want a challenge, present yourself as an employee eager to assist. “Be reliable with delivering good quality work,” said Barry Maher, former owner of a contracting company in NYC. Your bosses will appreciate your dedication. And, the will assign you responsibilities bigger than making copies. Growing from your entry-level job requires consistency. Don’t do stellar work one day and mediocre the next.

4. Keep the Questions Coming

From kindergarten to college, all your teachers touted the importance of asking questions. However, do you ask? Or, do you sit and silently beg for someone else to speak up? If so, most students will probably agree with you. People worry about sounding unintelligent. You think you should know how to work a spreadsheet, but you barely know how to operate the program. Nobody wants to make a bad impression or become the target of judgment. But being afraid to ask questions will actually hurt you in the long-term. Learning requires sharpening your ability to critically analyze situations. “If you don’t understand something, do not hesitate to ask. Otherwise, time is wasted with a redo,” said Maher. Don’t put fear before your career; an entry-level position presents the best opportunity to expand your knowledge.

5. Learn from the best

To help yourself grow beyond refilling the coffee machine, you need to take on bigger positions. Even if your company does not have any open positions, let your superiors know about your desire to grow. “Whenever an employee asks to shadow me, I am always impressed. It’s a great feeling knowing I hired a person who desires to learn and flourish with the business. Also, shadowing will make your employer aware of you in a positive way. “Knowing that I have employees who are greatly interested in how to successfully operate a small corporation makes me excited. Enthusiasm for your work is essential,” said chairwoman of Bopo Inc. and small business owner in NYC Sukki Duggan.

6. Put Forth Your Most Honest and Diplomatic Self

Read any article about the foundations of a relationship and you will find honesty and respect at the top. The way you treat and act towards your work resembles a type of relationship; nurturing this relationship remains essential for getting ahead. Don’t go into an entry-level position prepared to do the minimum. Recognize your true abilities and inform your superiors you require more responsibility. Or if you feel burdened by your workload, use honesty to truly dictate a proper workload. “Be honest and diplomatic. Most people want to know the truth, but some are easily ruffled by directness,” said Maher. Just how relationships won’t work under pressure or without action, neither will your job. Also, make sure to respect your co-workers. No need to act blunt or indecisive; practice being tactful with your information.

7. Look for Feedback

No one likes criticism, but no one can deny its importance. Being informed of your mistakes works as the best teacher for how to advance. “For me, I did not have much experience before getting my entry-level position. Fresh out of college, I wanted to apply what I learned in school. Every month, I ask for an evaluation by my superiors to help me perfect my skills and expand my education,” said Romano. You strengthen your weaknesses, while reinforcing your strengths. Showing your superiors an eagerness to improve will positively serve you in the long run.

8. Embrace Your Individuality

While confidence means trusting in your abilities as a worker, you should also trust in your abilities as a person. Others are unable to mimic your special characteristics. Use your individuality to highlight your positive qualities. “Impressing your colleagues requires making a distinction. If you are a great storyteller, incorporate that into your work. For such instances, use relevant analogies or stories to get a point across to a co-worker. You will show your deep understanding in a way that is unique to you,” said Maher.


Shannon Duggan is a junior at Florida State University studying English and Classics. Even though her passion is writing, she is an even bigger fan of bagels. Her love for all types of cream-cheese and bagel toppings resembles her great love for all things writing; she wants to offer her readers the freshest, most flavorful stories on a variety of topics.

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