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To ask how people get these jobs.

(333 Posts)
Ecriture Mon 04-Mar-19 19:53:11

I'm over 30, I come from a working class background.

I grew up with a mum on benefits single parent, 3 kids.

I tried though.

I went to iffy poly uni and got a crap degree (2:2) because I worked three jobs just to stay on the course.

It's not been easy but I've been willing to work as hard as it takes to make a life for myself unlike my childhood.

However, in the past 7 years I'm working I've barely scratched the surface and I am only on 25 grand and still at the bottom of the pile.

Today I had to attend a meeting where 60% of people present were some type of chief officer, cfo or head of major departments.

They all seem to have very distinguished careers and have attractive salaries way beyond my own.

My question is this how did they get there?

A lot of women on this site also seem to be high earners with lots of responsibility.

Does one have to be born into a wealthy family, know the right people or go to the best university. I have none of this.

Can hard work actually get you anywhere in life?

Am I destined to spend the rest of my life doing a low paid work despite my ambitions?

Am I being unreasonable do you think that someone from my background could ever rise higher?

Can anyone give me any advice about what I can do or how they progress in the phone their own career?

Ecriture Wed 06-Mar-19 20:04:16


Go for it. It won't be as bad as you think and it will get your face out there.

I've got a bit of a dilemma at the moment. there is a sideways move at my job which I think I would be good at. I'm not sure if I should go for it though.

Without going into too much outing detail, I've been knocked before for internal promotions at this job.

I'm nervous and I don't want to lose face.

PookieDo Wed 06-Mar-19 20:37:51

Thanks! I will do it but hope I don’t look like a complete dick. I know they will photograph it for social media too (or film) which is worse because it will always be out there!

I’ve just gone sideways and it’s going to be a lot of hard work (further to travel) but I weighed up the other benefits - im way more visible now and also I have a much more supportive manager who will let me grow. I was really stifled in my other role

PookieDo Wed 06-Mar-19 20:38:39

Posted too soon - do a pros and cons list and don’t be afraid of a new risk or challenge!

JenniferJareau Thu 07-Mar-19 06:47:56

I'd only go for a sideways move if there were really clear skills that I could gain that would get me to the next step in my career otherwise you waste time.

Did you ask for feedback from the other internal jobs you did not secure you mentioned?

DroningOn Thu 07-Mar-19 07:07:43

My DM was single parent a staff nurse at a nursing home so we were never flush with cash.

Went to an ok uni, pissed about for a few years then began to realise the opportunity I was jeopardising. Knuckled down got a 1st

Graduate job 2001, 18k

Got professionally accredited (engineering) 2008, changed company, jump in role £38k

Internal promotion (through application and interview) 2010, 47k

Internal promotion (through application and interview) 2013, 60k

Changed company for head of department role in a multi national organisation 2017, £74k

Internal promotion for a head of sector role (application and interview) 2019, £92k

Hard work, trying your luck at applications, not being afraid to move, being willing to challenge yourself and take on more responsibilities from your current role is how it worked out for me.

TransplantMyPersonality Thu 07-Mar-19 12:01:43

Wow. What a climb up the ladder in a relatively short period. DroningOn what degree did you do if you don't mind me asking?

thecatsthecats Thu 07-Mar-19 12:46:22

I am the COO of a very small company, and I guess the factors in this are:

- well educated, from a family with rich cultural capital - e.g. super educational environment at home, NT members
- 2:1 from a red brick (this was the minimum requirement for application)
- being both willing and able to do the extra hours aged 22-26 (I am very strict about working to rule now!)
- I have never got a job because of who I know, but I have an excellent track record of having good relationships with everyone bin the organization. I am even on good terms with a man I literally fired, and the HR woman who I could have raised a grievance against when she was a flat out cow to me seems to have forgotten this and happily supported my increased salary bump. (I am such a grouchy git though that anyone who knows me is surprised by this talent!)
- I am very capable at what I do. In a small company, my ability stands out even more (at entry level I could honestly do 3x the work of the other junior)

DroningOn Thu 07-Mar-19 14:25:08


I've got a Masters in Structural Engineering

Been really fortunate in terms of the experience I've been given over the years.

Also work for a really forward thinking organisation who unlike a lot of our competitors are very anti "old guard" style of upper management with senior roles being occupied by grey haired old men.

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