Making the Most Out of Your Entry-level Job

Recent college graduates have an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, which is challenging but favorable to the national unemployment rate of 9 percent, according to In tough economic times, many students may take jobs where their degree isn’t required, some may be walking into their dream job, or some might be resisting accepting anything that wasn’t in their plan.

In a recent NPR broadcast, Elizabeth Fiedler interviewed veterans returning to the workforce after long careers in the military. Many are trying to figure out how their military skills are going to be translated to the workforce and make them desirable to an employer. One man faced rejection from McDonald’s because they believed him to be overqualified. One woman couldn’t find a job because she was told she didn’t have enough experience. However, they both kept persevering and found a decent line of work until they get an education and more civilian experience.

Whether returning to the workforce or heading in for the first time, job seekers might find themselves setting aside their pride and going after service, entry-level, or plain unappealing jobs. As this situation is a necessity, workers should take this as an opportunity to build their skills, set goals, and make themselves indispensable, whether they’re cleaning bathrooms or filing papers.   Attitude is all and the ability to make something out of nothing—or almost nothing—is a valuable workplace and life skill.

Job seekers have the ability to give any job worth if they view their job as a valuable experience instead of a stop in the road or even a burden.   What are some of the top skills that employers seek? How can you work on these skills as a maintenance person, a waiter, or an assistant? What jobs have you held that taught you transferable skills? Have you ever held a job that wasn’t ideal but gave you a tougher skin? How did  or can that help you over the long haul?Share your stories below.


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