Work Your Way Up
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “you’ve got to start at the bottom and work your way up”. It’s one of those things that people say when you try to get a job that’s anywhere above “entry level”.
And frankly, it’s total bullshit…if it comes from someone who knows you have experience.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that I have to start at the bottom. It’s infuriating to me because the only people who ever said this to me are people who know that I am experienced in the field I was trying to jump into. It’s almost like it’s an interviewers “more polite” way of saying “you’re not good enough.” And who knows…maybe they were on to something in a few cases. But surely not all HR people are evil.
Sure, I get it…you’ve got to learn whatever it is you’re working with. That just comes with the territory. But I remember being told dozens of times when applying for lower level management jobs that I would still “have to start at the bottom” and work your way up into a management position despite having experience.
Who does that? Seriously!
Look at almost all of the managers or above entry level people you know. How many of them started at the lowest position in the company? I’m sure that some did, but odds are that most of them did not.
Several years ago, I heard a story about Donald Trump that was pretty awesome. I’m not sure how true it is, but it’s still pretty good (and just to be clear, no, I’m not voting for him…I will be voting for Gary Johnson).
The story goes that Trump wanted to get a job in real estate, but he was told that he would have to start at the bottom. He challenged the company…the deal was that he would handle an upcoming deal, and if he was able to pull it off he’d get the job, but if he couldn’t he would walk away.
I’m sure you can probably guess what happened.
I know you guys probably think I’m crazy, but hear me out.
I don’t mean you should only try to get jobs that are above your abilities. That’s absurd.
But you should always be wary of people who tell you that over and over again…because it does happen.
Don’t let bosses keep you in a crappy position forever. Learn, move up, or move on.