How to climb the ladder in your current career

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CLEVELAND – Climbing the career ladder for better pay and improved positions is a lot easier when your employer is rooting for you.

“We have college tuition reimbursement here.  I feel I need to take advantage of it,” says Helen Love an eight year veteran of University Hospitals.  When she started in 2008 she was a file clerk – today she’s a financial counselor at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

“People feel so grateful and thankful to UH,” says the hospitals’ Human resources spokesperson Debbie Perkul.  “They’re happier to stay here when they know they can move up.  It allows the hospital to provide great service.”

Several years back UH began their award-winning “Bridge to Your Future” program to help educate employees on the entry-level side of the organization.  Not only is it teaching math and language skills, it’s helping them navigate what career path may align with their interests and skills.

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“What also helped me was mentorship,” says UH employee Erica Johnson.  She’s been at the hospital’s main campus for eleven years sliding up several salary rungs over that time.  “My initial thought was find someone who is doing the job I want, meet them and talk to them and find out how they got where they are.”

She used mentorship and combined it with the Bridge to Your Future program to help land her a two-year associates degree diploma.  She plans on attending CSU this Fall and has goals further up the line.

“I’m going to be the manager one day – I am going to run my department.”

“UH gives one hour of release time a week for employees.  In exchange, they have to do an additional three hours of studying on their alone time,” Perkul said.

The advice if your employer doesn’t provide this kind of program or time allotment?

“We recommend folks check out two websites that can help guide employees to the best path for them – one is: or  They are both free and incredibly helpful for those looking to break out of their current track,” Perkul said.