As the founder of two companies, the big thing that it takes to bring a business from Start-Up to Success is people. When you’re in the very beginning stages of a business, each person you bring on can make or break the momentum.
In my companies, every single person starts off in an entry level position. In fact, many of the people we hire are often the first person in that position, which means that if they are good at it, and I mean really good at it, there’s a chance they will be running the show in that department in the future.
When growth is the focus, as the founder and visionary of my company, you can be certain that ‘pivoting fast’ is going to be high on my list. Don’t be surprised if I challenge your capabilities a couple months in to keep us moving at the same speed as our market. In fact my first employee is now the CEO/President of my software company and the last recruiter I hired just got promoted to recruitment manager. How’s that for momentum?
I have interviewed and hired people who weren’t able to see past the position in front of them. Unfortunately, with ‘pivot fast’ as our motto, we lose interest in those people pretty quickly and are either forced to cut them loose or not hire them in the first place.
With the economy the way it is, where even mediocre positions are becoming far and few between, I think it’s very important to see past the front door. Here are some tips on how to turn your entry level position into your permanent place of employment:
It’s not about what the company can do for you but rather what you can do for the company!
Let’s face it, the reason your position became available is so that the company can make more money. This doesn’t mean it’s not a two way street. At Plan A and StaffStat if you go to bat for our visions we will go to bat for you…for life! Shifting to the more positive perspective of how you can bring more value to the company shows that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and jump in to help, learn more and become an appreciated member of the team.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Mistakes are your greatest source of learning. Being afraid to make mistakes while learning a new job is the same as trying not to get mud on you in a Warrior Dash…it’s an uninspiring approach. I say jump in and get mud on yourself. When you make mistakes, make sure they come with learning and don’t be afraid to let your supervisor know about what you learned. As somebody who checks in often with our supervisors I love to hear stories of how our new people are growing!
Offer to take on a new task.
We’ve recently undergone some significant staffing changes; we’ve moved our heavy hitters from one company to another and fastracked people into positions with more responsibility. The reason this happened fairly seamlessly is because our newer staff were up to the challenge of taking on something they had never tried before…and we weren’t delegating, they were volunteering. It was very impressive to witness this team wanting to do more to help.
Ask for help.
Every person in an organization has been where you are. You’re not alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is always somebody who will help out a newbie that they feel brings value to the company!
I’m not saying everybody has to be BFF’s, but please be friendly. Learn a bit about your co-workers, make small talk, encourage each other, celebrate everybody’s successes and have fun. Unless you’re doing brain surgery there’s always something to laugh at in every job. The team that plays together stays together and this is what your organization wants!
Be aware of what your dream position is.
Self awareness allows you to discover which tasks you like to do and what you don’t really enjoy; you know what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. By offering to help in your areas of expertise, your colleagues get to see you shine which could turn into a tailor-made position for you in the future.
Remember, you may be the low woman on the totem pole right now but you are the CEO of your own career. Take charge and make the most of where you are today to get to where you want to be tomorrow.