It is very rare that an employee will start his / her career at the top of the company food chain. It can be hard to gather the necessary experience unless you start at the bottom. Even top executives from major companies started from the bottom and worked their ways up. A great example of this is Keith Sherin of General Electric. He started his career in the Financial Management Program (FMP) at General Electric which is an entry-level management training program for promising young leaders. He took the experience and ran with it. He entered the FMP program in 1981 and is now acting CEO of GE Capital which pays a multi-million dollar salary. Everyone needs to start somewhere, and it might as well be at one of the following careers since they offer excellent advancement potential and the job opportunities are abundant.
Sometimes retail can be talked about in a negative light. Companies like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Kroger, to name a few, pay employees near minimum wage to handle general duties around the store. However, there are actually some pretty great opportunities to advance in retail. The first step is usually becoming and assistant department manager and moving your way up to full-time department manager. These jobs usually pay $15/hr or more, and there is room for some overtime especially if the store is busy. The advancement potential doesn’t end there. A lot of students have worked in retail while attending college and have moved on to office and other managerial positions at the store. These are typically legitimate careers that can pay $40,000-$80,000 per year, depending on location and the size / sales volume of the location. The ultimate goal is becoming a store manager, which can be a six-figure position at certain locations. Store managers have a significant impact on the bottom line of the store, and they are well-remunerated because of it.
2.) Human Resources & Office Assistants
Many top-level executives started their careers as assistants. It can be an excellent way to gain exposure to the business and figure out if that type of career is right for you. Typically office assistants do not need experience, but they do need to be proficient in Microsoft Office and other software programs. The easiest way to find this type of job is to apply through a temporary employment agency. If you can prove your knowledge of Excel & Word and nail the interviews a job will be easy to find. For human resources assistants, the ultimate goal is finding a career as a human resources manager which is a six-figure role in many companies. Administrative assistants have a few options—it really depends on which department they are working in. Office manager is usually the title they strive for.
3.) Leadership Programs
These are truly an excellent way to advance with a company. They help employees locate their strengths and weaknesses and provide outlets for them to improve their skills. There are all types of programs, but the most popular are finance, risk, engineering, and information technology. It’s a great career path for an entry-level college student and it provides you with the experience to become a valuable commodity in the job market. Workers in leadership programs are frequently contacted by head hunters because their skills are so valuable. The job opportunities are plentiful and the experience you get cannot be derived from anywhere else. If you display great leadership characteristics you virtually guarantee yourself a great promotion.
4.) Country Club
Country clubs are a great place to work for those who are interested in golf, facilities management, grounds keeping, landscape design, and hospitality. There are some excellent jobs at country clubs, but the main issue with finding these types of jobs is that when candidates find a role they usually stick around for a long time. The pinnacle of “blue collar” work at a country club is the Head Superintendent. They are responsible for upkeep of the course and all the financials that go behind it. This includes payroll, equipment, supplies, course design, and general repairs. For those interested in hospitality, roles like restaurant manager and food and beverage manager are excellent. Those who are great golfers can eventually move towards a role as a head golf pro. Whichever path you choose, country clubs are a great place to get some experience. They typically hire aggressively in early spring, and there are plenty of tip-based positions that will help you make a little extra money. Just be aware that depending on your location country club work might be seasonal because they shut down golf operations in locations with snowy winters.