Best Buy's CEO started on the sales floor. The former CEO of Harley Davidson started as a freight elevator operator for the company.
Your next hourly job could be the springboard to big things, like a store management job or even a position at your company's corporate headquarters. These seven companies offer opportunities to start at the bottom and move up - fast.
Everybody starts with tortillas. Chipotle requires all new hourly hires to start out in crew positions. The good news is that this fast-growing restaurant chain has a goal of developing all its restaurant managers from team members. Once you've mastered burrito-rolling and great customer service, you could become a kitchen manager, service manager and eventually general manager.
Do you get restless when you're looking at the same four walls? You might thrive as an inventory associate with WIS International. The job involves traveling to different retail locations each day to inventory the merchandise in stock using a handheld scanner. WIS International team members have the opportunity to be trained for retail manager jobs, which means that very soon you could find yourself managing a team of 30-50 people. Even the CEO of the company started out as an inventory manager.
Comfort-food king Boston Market is a great place to start a restaurant career and get management training. If you start at Boston Market as a team member, you're encouraged to become an hourly shift leader. If you’re good in that role, then you might be ready for a management job. First you’ll work as a manager-in-training, then you can become an assistant manager or even a general manager.
You don't have to be an engine expert to start working at Valvoline Instant Oil Change - you just have to be willing to get your hands dirty. This company teaches new employees everything they need to know, from how to service a car to how to manage a team. Ninety percent of Valvoline's service center managers started as hourly technicians. On average, the company says, an oil change technician can be promoted to certified technician 90 days after hire. After that, you can become a senior technician, then assistant manager, and eventually, service center manager.
This popular grocery store chain in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic offers opportunities for its team members to advance rapidly into management jobs. Ted Harrington, the company's manager of diversity, started as a 21-year-old Harris Teeter cashier. He was promoted to assistant manager, then customer service manager - all within just six months!
6. Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Kmart
Sears and Kmart - which are owned by the same company - take management training seriously. They offer four different programs to develop managers for their stores. The entry-level program is the management trainee track, which Sears says "offers intense, engaging, hands-on experience, the most comprehensive you can get in the industry." Completing this program will land you a position as a support manager or assistant store manager.
AT&T runs several manager development programs that are primarily aimed at recent college grads. Instead of starting as a retail salesperson or a retail sales representative, motivated grads can enter an intensive Retail Sales Leadership Program that combines classroom training and in-store rotations. When the program's done, you can jump right into an AT&T manager job. When you’re managing the store, will you give us a discount on an iPhone?
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