Ask Savvy: When Are You No Longer "Entry Level"?

Ask Savvy: When Are You No Longer "Entry Level"?

Dear Savvy,
I'm a 25-year-old woman who has worked for an insurance company for the past two years as a junior account manager. Before that, I worked as an administrative assistant for a short period and received my degree in history from a well-known university. My reviews at the insurance company have all been good, I work hard and I expect to be promoted in the near future. However, I looked at the company's job listings the other day and realized even the position above mine is considered "entry level." What is entry level exactly and how do I convince my boss to put me on a track that surpasses that soon?
Thanks,
Ready to Take on More Rebecca

Savvy says: The good news is that you already have your foot in the door with the company so you probably don't need to be too concerned with level language. Employers and hiring managers use the vague "entry level" categorization to tier positions internally and so applicants have an idea of how much work experience is required. It's also a telltale sign of what pay grade to expect. The term is used for positions that require basic education, training, and experience in the workforce, but allow the opportunity to grow. To see what I think you should consider, read more.

In many cases, entry-level positions are aimed at people straight out of college and in the workforce for the first time. I don't think would be unreasonable for you to still fall into that category in the company's eyes based on your age, even though three years is a solid amount of time to work for a company. It sounds like you are on the right track and know you will be promoted, so you should talk with your manager about your role, the experience you have gained in your current position, and what you are capable of taking on. If the fact that it's defined as an "entry level" position within the company is what's bothering you, ask your manager about the next tier and then ensure her your aim is to continue to grow. Chances are your boss doesn't see you as an entry-level employee if you have been with the company for three years, have positive reviews, and have been put on the promotion track. If you are concerned mostly about pay, bring that up with your manager or HR as you begin to focus and set goals for a promotion. Best of luck to you, it sounds like you are moving in the right direction!

Photo courtesy of AMC

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