While preparing for an upcoming podcast appearance to discuss our Guide to the Post-pandemic Job Market, I came across a CNBC and FlexJobs report on entry-level remote work. The new report is important for two reasons. First, it’s graduation season so students—sometimes referred to as rising professionals–need to know what jobs they should consider pursuing now. Second, in some parts of the country, the pandemic is not done, so workers may prefer remote assignments.
This makes the information in the list below vital for entry-level jobseekers. According to CNBC and FlexJobs, the ten flexible jobs with the most job postings on their site—largely remote opportunities—include:
1. Customer service representative
2. Staff accountant
3. Administrative assistant
4. Recruiting coordinator
5. Account executive
6. Call center representative
7. Billing specialist
8. Executive assistant
9. Accounts payable specialist
10. Marketing coordinator
Entry-level employees conduct customer-facing jobs, in addition to financial record-keeping, and other analytical roles key to profitability in every organization. The jobs serve as a training-ground for future leaders, too. Many employees also enjoy and become highly proficient in such roles and spend much of their careers at these jobs. There isn’t enough room at the top in most organizations and industries, so this is also a good thing.
Your entry-level job is important—even if it’s not exciting.
The first job we land when we finish school or change careers is usually not glamorous. It probably does not give us the opportunity to change the world, or even our industry or company. Yet, our first job is important.
The job we start after school or in a new business is usually a learning experience whether it is explicitly designed that way or not.
My first job in career services seemed at the time to be a boring administrative assignment, but in retrospect I gained valuable skills for the business. The job was, among other things, to follow-up via telephone with career advising and job development clients we had not heard from in the last three months. I enjoyed the detective work of tracking people down, and then getting answers to certain questions. The most important lessons I learned for the future, though, included how to use the office’s case management system, how hard-copy client files were organized, and how to write case notes—skills that served me well at career advising and job placement roles in three different organizations.
Perhaps the most valuable takeaway from the follow-up coordinator job was what I learned through phone conversations with hundreds of clients and former clients. There were problems I could solve right away by telling clients who to contact in our office for certain services, and basic job search questions I could answer.
Importantly, I sometimes found answers for clients by speaking with their career advisors. As I spoke with the career advisors, I learned about what they did, and what classes they took to learn the business. It turned out that the office would pay for me to attend the same classes the career advisors took at NYU, so I was promoted to career advisor after completing the program.
A seemingly pointless temp job making phone calls turned into a fascinating second career.
Long-term trends may differ.
The long-term trend, as reported in previous blog posts, and later in our Guide to the Post-pandemic job Market differs from the trend reported from FlexJobs. Projections for the year 2030 suggest there will be fewer opportunities for customer service, inside sales, and administrative jobs for reasons including automation and offshoring. Yet, the FlexJobs list above suggests increased demand in these areas now.
There are probably two reasons for the differences. First, actual short-term results can differ from long-term trends. Also, the figures are not really comparable. The FlexJobs analysis relates only to one kind of job—flexible and work from home jobs–while the government data our projections are based on come from the much broader job market.
Flexible jobs may not benefit you as a new worker.
Work-from-home, and other flexible work arrangements are great for pandemic safety and work-life balance. They may not be great if you have just graduated from school. A former co-worker, now a bank executive,director told me he wasn’t sure new employees that do not work in the office could learn to navigate a large organization and understand the organizational culture while working at home. For many of us, the interactions that take place in an office build lifelong friendships with some co-workers. Others become important industry or professional contacts. Don’t underestimate the value of working in an office early in your career. And do not underestimate the value or your entry-level job for you and your organization.