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Old 01-24-2011, 04:30 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,663,306 times
Reputation: 1669

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I've found it to be a tedious challenge to take the next step in my career. I have a few years of experience with my current employer, and have been perusing the job boards to see what's available at the next level in this particular field. I notice that many of the jobs at the next level up require very specific qualifications, many of which I have not been or probably will not be exposed to in my current role. In addition, it seems that moving from entry level to mid-level is a giant leap. Where most entry level positions require 0-2 years experience, most of the mid-level positions I've seen require 10+ years.

What are your suggestions? Should you just apply to these positions and tell them you're willing to learn? Have you been successful with a similar approach? I just want to know how to get up to the next level without being required to sit around for another five years, while hopelessly stagnating. Please!!! Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:29 PM
 
2,017 posts, read 5,336,510 times
Reputation: 1671
In my opinion, ability to move to a new level of your career is not really measured in tenure and how long you have been doing a job.

Also-- going for a mid-level job is not one that you say, I am willing to learn. Employers are willing to take that risk on you when you show a few things.

1. What have you done in your entry level stage of your career to show you are ready to move on to a more senior level? I had been able to move from entry level to a higher level because I was already stepping in to do that kind of work-- I took extra initiatives, I also could show succesful projects that I had done with process improvements with actual measurements and data results.

2. Someone who has been proven in their skills in a different industry or type of company-- the employer is then willing to take them on and teach them their industry, etc.

I always believe in trying to attempt that move up at your own employer. When I have moved on to new employers I have made a timeline. I would attempt to rise in the ranks by showing my skills, initiative and hard work, but there would be a time line drop dead point. If I had not been able to progress in my career at say 1year, 2 years, etc then I would move on.

My current company I had to take a few steps back when I came on board. I had to prove myself and I have been able to move up the chain pretty quickly by using those techniques. If I had not been able to move into a new and more senior role at the end of 1 year (when my foot in the door job was to me entry level) then I was going to move on... but I ended up being promoted within 7-8 months, so I stayed.

Just be aware that in some jobs-- as they become more difficult, my expectations and timeline for progression is also extended due to the mastery of new skills, knowledge that are more complex.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:51 PM
 
Location: North of Nowhere, South of Everywhere
1,090 posts, read 1,052,405 times
Reputation: 1900
It never hurts to try to apply for those jobs. Who knows you may get one that takes you to the next step in your career.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:05 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 43,107,256 times
Reputation: 16209
Not sure if this is helpful, but I can tell you two things I often hear from people looking to move from entry level to mid level that are just wrong.

1. I've been here for x amount of time, I deserve a promotion.
2. I can't show manager qualities until I'm a manager.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
14,216 posts, read 27,636,953 times
Reputation: 27533
Instead of stagnating.....volunteer to take on extra work that will expose you to something they require. Accept a challenge.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:19 PM
 
2,017 posts, read 5,336,510 times
Reputation: 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
Not sure if this is helpful, but I can tell you two things I often hear from people looking to move from entry level to mid level that are just wrong.

1. I've been here for x amount of time, I deserve a promotion.
2. I can't show manager qualities until I'm a manager.
And I can tell you as a manager, I have heard those and it has always made me want to shake my head and then bopping them on the head like little bunny foo foo (my absolute favorite childrens poem) but seriously-- tenure means nothing. It doesn't mean that you are really ready for the next level. You may have just continued to do the same level of work, never improving the work, never making it more meaningful, just doing the very basic work to just get by and to stay right in the middle of the pack.

Some people get it-- some don't.

At the same hand-- I definitely advocate for not suffocating with an employer who can not see your value.

Put your managers to task to tell you what they expect and what qualities they are looking for someone at the next level. Ask you department heads to be mentors or help you network with someone who is more senior to be a mentor. See if you can job shadow.

I always ask my managers: what are my goals. What do you envision with an employee at my level to accomplish to be rated at the highest level. I ask for specifics so I can over achieve those goals and I make sure that my management knows where I am at in that work, etc.

Now if you do all of that and your management and company just is not moving you-- then it is time to look for a new job, but you have to look at what you are doing honestly to see if you are really overachieving and ready for that next role. I tend to look at the more successful people in a group (you generally can pick them out) and see what qualities they have that make them so successful. I also pick their brains for ideas on how to handle certain scenarios and situations.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:47 PM
 
2,282 posts, read 3,663,306 times
Reputation: 1669
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetheduns View Post
And I can tell you as a manager, I have heard those and it has always made me want to shake my head and then bopping them on the head like little bunny foo foo (my absolute favorite childrens poem) but seriously-- tenure means nothing. It doesn't mean that you are really ready for the next level. You may have just continued to do the same level of work, never improving the work, never making it more meaningful, just doing the very basic work to just get by and to stay right in the middle of the pack.

Some people get it-- some don't.

At the same hand-- I definitely advocate for not suffocating with an employer who can not see your value.

Put your managers to task to tell you what they expect and what qualities they are looking for someone at the next level. Ask you department heads to be mentors or help you network with someone who is more senior to be a mentor. See if you can job shadow.

I always ask my managers: what are my goals. What do you envision with an employee at my level to accomplish to be rated at the highest level. I ask for specifics so I can over achieve those goals and I make sure that my management knows where I am at in that work, etc.

Now if you do all of that and your management and company just is not moving you-- then it is time to look for a new job, but you have to look at what you are doing honestly to see if you are really overachieving and ready for that next role. I tend to look at the more successful people in a group (you generally can pick them out) and see what qualities they have that make them so successful. I also pick their brains for ideas on how to handle certain scenarios and situations.
Thanks, lovetheduns. You have offered some great insight so far, as well as some good questions to ask my employer.

I think you touch on a great point with this statement: "At the same hand-- I definitely advocate for not suffocating with an employer who can not see your value."

I don't know if my current employer sees me as a valuable asset to it's operation. On one hand, I can say that I truly did try very hard in the beginning to indicate to the higher ups that I was very capable. I volunteered for more work, offered some ideas to improve things, etc. Up to a certain point, this was getting me no where. I almost left on a couple occasions because I felt I was being ignored. It was only after the threat of me leaving that my employer responded to my requests for additional duties and/or a pay increase.

I will bring up some of the questions you have posed above. At least then, I feel like I can better assess how my employer sees me and my future with the company.
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