An entry-level job is the first step in building a successful career. Unfortunately, it can also become a position of underemployment that is hard to escape. Entry-level positions may not grow with a worker, and when there are few opportunities for advancement, it can be hard to escape the confines of the role.
Learn how to advance your career by recognizing the signs that you’re underemployed and taking steps to move forward. It will take personal initiative, but it is possible and worth the effort.
Signs It’s Time to Move On
It can be hard to know when a job is no longer benefiting you. There are risks in searching for a new position, but staying in an entry-level role for too long is also risky. You may miss out on thousands of dollars in wages by staying at a job that’s below your skill level. Determine if your entry-level position has run its course by researching the job market and evaluating your work life.
Are you overqualified?
Find the job description of your current position. What may have been a nice fit when you first applied may no longer be right for you. If you have more years of experience than your job demands, it may be time to move on from your entry-level job.
How is the work?
If the day-to-day tasks of your current position are not exciting, you may be ready to move on. The correct position for you should challenge you and teach you new skills. Maybe your entry-level job forced you out of your comfort zone when you started, but it no longer does. If you are bored with your work, consider searching for a new position.
Are you underpaid?
One easy way to determine if you have outgrown your entry-level job is by comparing your pay to an average wage for the same position. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook frequently updates its statistics on average pay for nearly every job on the market.
It is time to move on from your job if your salary is significantly below the national average for similar positions. Even if you are paid around the national average, you may qualify for a higher-paying position.
Get the Job You Deserve in 4 Easy Steps
Once you determine that you have outgrown an entry-level job, it’s time to escape to a new position. Whether you are interested in a full-on career change, or you want to advance in your current career, there are concrete steps you can take to ease the transition.
To escape an entry-level job, you need to know your worth, negotiate for advancement opportunities, find a network outside of work, and gain experience in new contexts.
Know your worth
This step of moving beyond your entry-level job is similar to finding out if you have outgrown your current position. Determine if you deserve more than you currently earn. Read job descriptions of positions above your current status. Find positions that you qualify for and note their salary and benefits. This research alerts you to potential new jobs and gives you promotion leverage in your current company.
Knowing your worth is more than understanding how much you should get paid. If you have a strong work ethic, make a note of that and think of times it was on display. The skills that lead you to outgrow your current position are valuable characteristics that help determine your next career step.
Negotiate for a promotion
Once you know your worth, it is time to negotiate for what you deserve. If your company has promotional opportunities that accommodate your career goals, arrange a meeting to discuss your interest. In this meeting, speak to your market value and why you’re an asset to the company. Bring up the achievements and success you have had in your current position.
Keep an open mind when negotiating for a promotion or salary increase. The company may work with you to improve your situation even if it is not ideal. An open mind and goodwill toward the company will likely net a better outcome than a no-compromise approach. If your company cannot provide you with what you need, it is time to search for a job elsewhere.
Update your job search materials
A new job search can be a stressful and lengthy process; however, there are ways to make it easier. Update and tailor your resume to the positions you hope to get. Tailoring a resume to specific job applications gets your application past review algorithms and into the hands of hiring managers.
Meet new people
Build a network in the field that interests you to find new opportunities. This could involve volunteering for interesting organizations or conferences on relevant topics. Get out into the real world and meet people.
Use social media to find events you’d like to attend and people you want to meet. Even if new connections do not have opportunities for you, they may know people who do. It pays to network when you are trying to take your next career step.
Advance Your Career With JobsFuel
A stimulating career is an essential part of a satisfying personal life. If you have outgrown your entry-level job, research your worth, negotiate for a promotion, get ready for a job search, and network in new spaces. Pair these steps with consistent effort, and you’ll soon take the next step in your career.
Find relevant job openings near you with JobsFuel’s easy-to-use job search tool. Refine your search by keyword, job title, city, or based on your address. Then, prepare for the application and interview process with our informational blogs.