How sweet it would be to skip the part of our professional career where we take our lumps and work our way up until we're making the big bucks and spending our days involved in creative work?
Alas, that's not at all what happens in real life.
In fact, sometimes we find ourselves involved in dead end positions that, despite the struggle, don't offer much payoff in the future.
Thankfully, a recent Reddit thread offered up some entry level job ideas to steer people in the right direction.
Redditor honestgoing asked:
"What are some entry level jobs with room to move up, that actually hire people at entry level without requiring years of experience?"
Many people advised having an open mind about blue collar, manual labor-style jobs. These often pay well and offer some possibility for growth.
It's What You Know
"I got a job in manufacturing in 2015 with zero experience. Started at $15/hr as an operator."
"Basically you babysit a machine that more or less runs itself. Fast forward to now and I'm a shift mechanic making $38/hr."
"I know it's all the rage to say hard work doesn't get you anywhere anymore, but I absolutely worked my a** off to learn how the machines worked, how the automation worked and did my best to fix problems as an operator before calling for a mechanic."
"I got promoted after two years to a higher level operator position, then a year after that an apprentice mechanic position opened up. I applied for it and was accepted."
"A year later the apprenticeship ended and I was promoted to shift mechanic."
"Two months after I was hired I gave my friend a referral and he got hired on as an operator. Same as me, no experience. Guess who's our other shift mechanic? We both worked hard and showed initiative and it paid off."
"Obviously this isn't the case everywhere, but it seems to be fairly common in the manufacturing industry."
Formal Programs Help
"Construction! I started at 18 fresh out of high school at $14/hr as an apprentice 5 years ago and now I finished the program and make $47 an hour."
Low Supply, High Demand
"Welding, HVAC, trucking, automotive repair... basically most skilled labor positions."
"The industry is desperate and everyone knows you have to start somewhere."
Others advocated sticking it out in the jobs many people avoid with ten-foot pole: customer-facing and retail positions. Many of these, however, allow folks to move on from the phone or the front desk some day.
"Customer Support representative within IT (think big brands). With the accumulated knowledge from their products and troubleshooting will give you experience to move upwards to e.g. On-Site support, internal IT support etc, and through that you can start practicing and study free time into something more advanced (backend or frontend, maintaining servers, networking and such)."
"That's how I've climbed the ladder (though stagnated a bit past years due to health issues. Otherwise I would've advanced more into backend as I was about to start studying programming with courses provided through my employer)."
All You Need
"Convenience stores. It's a shi**y job when you start off as a clerk, but turnover is high. I took such a job at 21, within three months they were begging me to take a manager position after the one who hired me was led out in handcuffs."
"Three months after that they made me a DM. In October of '09 I was a part timer at $7.80/hr, by next summer I was pulling a $950/wk salary. In my part of the US, that buys a pretty good life."
"As long as you aren't a thief and have two brain cells to rub together, you're qualified."
Well, Not Quite Customers
"Some places (private ambulance, some municipalities) hire entry level. The pay is good, and you have room to move up into management."
"The cons are the stress (from sheer boredom to 'sh**, someone's dying and I need an ambulance but they're all on calls') and the 24/7 operating hours. But if you have the mind for it and can handle the schedule, it's a rewarding and interesting job."
The Face of Hospitality
"Hotel front desk or any hotel staff position."
"I started as a night audit about 10 years ago and now I'm corporate for one of the largest brands. I've been in corporate for 7 years."
"What most people also don't realize is that while the hotel might be a Hilton, the ownership might be a real estate company, while the people running the hotel could be a hotel management company. Working at one hotel gives you three different companies to progress in."
"Lots of room to go and lots of different avenues but you do gotta put your time in but it pays off."
Finally, others fixated more on the entry level jobs that offer the comforts of office life. These administrative positions, though not demanding a ton of skill, are still nothing to sneeze at.
They're Everywhere Too
"An area funeral home chain hires entry level staff to assist with operations in a variety of ways."
"They provide on-the-job training, decent pay, and a benefits package. Plus, the funeral home industry is steady business, offering the potential of long-term employment."
Those Regular Hours, Too
"A bank job! I'm currently in college as a part time teller, but a majority of my superiors and higher ups are all without degrees. Tons of room for growth, looks great on a resume, and it's honestly a really easy job."
Just a Couple Projects Away
"Depending on the local market software."
"Build one decent project and be able to answer some questions about data structures will get you hired in many places."
"A few years later you can easily be making bank. Downside is of course you'll be working with software"
So if you're in the hunt for your start, give these 10 options a second thought.
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Minimum wage is often paid by some of the most physically and emotionally intensive work—service industry jobs. Having to work in a hot kitchen all day or deal with irate customers while being paid less than you need to survive is not exactly the best situation to be in.
A lot of people just kind of mentally check out at some point, figuring they're not being paid to deal with anything that is outside their job description.
Reddit user u/Edymnion asked:
The minimum wage in America is insultingly low, yet employees working for a pittance are still expected to go above and beyond the call of duty. Some of these stories are pretty frustrating, and only makes it clearer that all work deserves decent pay.
justme112358 asked minimum wage workers of Reddit: What's you re "I don't get paid enough for this shIt" story?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.