Here is another in our continuing series of articles about things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!

Despite a social push to bridge the gap between the 1% and the rest of Americans, it seems as if the financial difference between the two groups is actually growing as promotions from entry-level jobs are dwindling. An increasing number of workers are finding themselves stuck in jobs that provide not just low pay, but little chance of advancing.

“Some people took those jobs because they were the only ones available and haven’t been able to figure out how to move out of that,” says Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon.

He adds that, if they “can go to another company and another job and make more money and develop, they’ll be better,” Simon explained. “It’ll be better for the economy. It’ll be better for us as a business, to be quite honest, because they’ll continue to advance in their economic life.” But the jobs that used to help people advance have disappeared since 1991, and individuals with more education, training, and experience are having to hold onto lower-wage jobs.

The traditional career path that has worked well for Americans for many years is, “Land an entry-level job. Accept a modest wage. Gain skills. Leave eventually for a better-paying job,” according to Josh Boak. But the recession resulted in many of those jobs with higher-pay being eliminated, and moving up the corporate ladder is proving to be more difficult than in the past.

In order to avoid the frustration that can come from a failure to grow, many Americans are going back to skill to bolster their resume and others are working on building skills that will help them earn the jobs they covet. Since mock sales calls are now being included in many interviews, learning some new techniques and refining those skills can be vital to earning better jobs.

For others, especially those who don’t want to go through extensive interviews and worry about whether they will ever be able to move up the corporate ladder or not, starting a small business can be the best option. Though there are plenty of challenges associated with doing so, it can be a great way to break free of corporate structures that don’t always work and build a healthy career.

Individuals who want to travel down that path should participate in events like the 2014 SOHO Small Business Show in Rochester, NY on April 2nd. The show is in its 13th year and will provide tips and guidance, as well as a great opportunity to network, for entrepreneurs in the area.

The event’s website states, “Attendees will see over 100 display booths with a varied cross-section of companies providing products, services and resources to small business. Plus you can network with other attendees.”

For some, using the traditional method of taking an entry-level position to springboard a fruitful career will still work, and progressing won’t be a challenge. But in order to prevent ever getting stuck, building new skills or even starting a business of their own is the better option. Either way, informative events that provide tips and the ability to network are a great tool.