Random Rantings

Saturday, January 07, 2006

"Entry Level" light bulb

I had a "light bulb moment" during a car drive this evening!

In my big "turning 30" rant, I spoke about how at work I was dissapointed that I'm considered "entry level" even with my many years of relevant work experience...

Several people, including my husband, have told me not to let it bother me... if even though I'm considered "entry level" they still have me being a project manager and paying me well - then that's still good, and I shouldn't be troubled by it...

Intellectually, I understood what they meant... that as long as it didn't mean I was being demoted, losing pay, or anything like that, it's not a big deal... especially, as my hubby pointed out, meant that if I did my normally wonderful job at work, then I was exceeding expectations, and would be eligible for a promotion - which might not be the case if I'm at a higher level - I'd have a higher bar to work towards for a promotion...

But it still bothered me... and, I finally figured out why!

There was one of those commercials on the radio about getting a "certificate degree" at one of those franchise technical schools... Well, one of the lines in the commercial is - "With a certificate from [insert name of school], you'll be eligible for an exciting entry level position in one of the following fields..."

"exciting entry level position"... and it doesn't even need a college degree... or even an associate degree... just a certificate....

I'm pissed about the label... if those of us at the "entry level" position are called that - the outside world makes a certain assumption about our skills, education, and years of experience... which in the case of my workplace - would be completely off-base...

I think that a lot of folks in my office - including me - would be very happy if they just renamed the "entry level" position something different... so instead of "Analyst - Entry Level", it would be "Analyst I"...

"Analyst I" implies a lower level - but makes no inherent assumptions about what level of skill, education, or years of experience needed to get the job...

I'm going to have to remember to tell our HR folks this suggestion...

-Emily

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