I hear people groan and complain about taking entry level jobs. Most of us have worked them. I once worked on the assembly line for a potato chip company picking out burnt potato chips. It was one of the most boring jobs I’ve ever had. It paid minimum wage and every couple of hours a Fred Flintstone type whistle would alert us to the fact that it was time to take a break. For most people there, that meant a smoke break. If I had worked there much more than a day I think it would have sucked my brain out.
But, like any kind of job, you should always learn something from it. I learned that I did not want to pick out burnt potato chips for the rest of my life and had no interest in working my way up the corporate ladder at the time. But, being older and wiser I would see it differently now. At the time I only saw burnt potato chips. Sometimes in my nightmares.
Today, an an entrepreneur, I see opportunities. In every corporation there are other jobs besides entry level. Since they are the ones that are the most visible, we tend to forget that there is a whole other world at “corporate”.
If you’ve ever seen the show “Undercover Boss”, it’s where the CEO goes undercover in a disguise and gets a job as an entry level worker. This is when he or she really finds out what goes on in their own company. They are always shocked at what they see when they put themselves in the shoes of their employees. What better way to learn about a company than to start at the bottom?
No matter what kind of job you get, always, always, always learn as much as you can. This will serve you well in life in other areas. You don’t have to stay at the bottom long. Show interest, enthusiasm and a willingness to work hard and you will be working your way up in no time.
Paula Marshall-Chapman, CEO of Bama Companies, started out filling pie shells on the assembly line. Jim Ziemer, CEO of Harley Davidson started out as a freight elevator operator. Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald’s started out as a restaurant manager trainee. And Andrew Taylor, CEO of Enterprise started out washing cars on the lot.
So the next time you hear about an opening for an entry level position, don’t complain about it. See it as an opportunity. You never know, maybe one day you could be running the whole show.