Saw this article on MSN this morning: 6 Benefits of a Bottom-Rung Job
According the author, Paul Facella, there are six benefits to starting in a low-level job:
1. Teaches you the ropes. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than a manager who doesn’t know what things are like down in the trenches. I realize that not all managers can do every job, but there’s nothing wrong with experiencing what employees go through on the front lines. Those who start at the bottom and work their way up, have that advantage.
2. Hones your work style.
3. Refines relationship skills. This is very important. There’s nothing like trying to balance friendship with trying to move up the ladder. Some people will be offended by your desire to move up the ladder. That said, learning how to deal with people from all positions within the company will help you go far.
4. Creates opportunities.
5. Forms networks. Depending on your position and company, you will have the opportunity to meet lots of people and have lots of networking opportunities.
6. Reinforces humility. Yes, starting at the bottom can be very humbling. I know this is tiny in comparison to losing a good job and having to start over, but when I first moved to Texas, I took a second job at IHOP as a dishwasher/bus boy. I had a pretty good position of manager trainee with the grocery chain I worked for and found it quite humbling to go work as a bus boy at a restaurant and having to take orders from other people.
One thing the author points out, which is very important, is that it matters a lot who you work for:
“…before you take just any “starter job,” you should find out if this is a goal- and growth-oriented job, as opposed to a dead-end job. In your interview, it is perfectly fine to ask such questions as: What percentage of your mid- to senior-level managers are promoted from within? What programs and policies are set up for helping high-achieving employees develop new skills? Is mobility at this company limited, or could one apply for jobs elsewhere in the company for which one is qualified?”
In other words, it’s not enough to get a low-level job, work hard, and expect to move up automatically. You have to make sure the company you work for will be interested in promoting you.
NOTE: Paul Fracella wrote the book, Everything I Know About Business I Learned at McDonald’s*