I recently read on LinkedIn the founder of a recruiting company write a post that asked, “If you are graduating in May and starting your career, a few pieces of advice ….”
This was interesting to me, and the VERY reason why I understand the barrier to entry into the workplace, and the massive disappointment crushed when you have guys like this who are hiring …
He listed 15 pieces of advice, and I’d like to comment on 10 of them as to why I think he’s a dolt, and how incredibly funny I found his send-off message —he wrote. “It’s a GREAT time to be entering the workforce. Good luck!!!”
P.S. And then again … it could just be me.
1. He Wrote: If you are allowed to be in the office go. 5 days a week.
First off, I would suggest not starting a new job when you feel you need to ‘be allowed’ to do anything. What, are we 5?
From a health and wellness standpoint, new information is appearing regularly on the positive health benefits of a hybrid work style. This guy sounds like you’re putting in life with no chance of parole. Weekends off on good behavior.
2. He Wrote: Work on improving your writing and excel skills. It makes a difference. No matter the job.
Excel skills? I’m ok at excel. I get by. But trust me, I’ve worked for many (many) business sectors; entertainment, fortune 500, private, start-ups, gaming, government, education, healthcare, community, not-for-profit, lifestyle enterprise, did I miss any? And needing to improve my excel skills did not top the charts.
I feel badly for those coming out of college who read this guy’s post and are busy honing their excel spreadsheet skills.
3. He Wrote: Dress better than the average person. People notice.
Sure. Look nice. Tuck in your shirt — although there are some looks that rock an untucked shirt …. but the dress for success thing is so old school. Sure, people notice how you ‘carry yourself’ — so carry yourself in whatever you feel confident in!
4. He Wrote: Arrive earlier than the highest person who goes to the office. And then work when you arrive.
This just makes me angry. Why? It hit a nerve for me. I worked for health and wellness start-up a long while back where the CEO came from a very corporate (military minded business framework) company and tried to transition to a start-up where it’s a very different beast.
All this guy talked about was how proud he was that he ALWAYS arrived before ‘the boss’ and NEVER left until ‘the boss’ left first at his corporate gig. And the other favorite comment he loved to say was, ‘no one in the office looked stressed enough.’ Ironic as this was a health and wellness start-up!!!
Really, the guy had a very difficult time transitioning from having all the processes and infrastructure in place from his corporate gig, from creating a start-up where you need to create and build everything — he didn’t get it. At all. He moved on.
Bottom line: It’s about the quality of work. Not the quantity. Deliver on what you say you’ll do. Thankfully ‘being seen’ and the whole ‘optics’ of being seen is changing — I equate this to the fact that we tend to do more reporting of our work than doing the work itself. This is a trust thing — get over it. Trust people or don’t hire them.
5. He Wrote: Don’t rush out. The relationships built after “hours” are how you truly get to know people.
Trust me, you’ll get to know people over time. This guy is assuming that you have no other life other than work. He’s basically saying — “Go ahead, you’re young, burn out early — you’re resilient, you can handle it. Why not start off your working career getting lousy advice where years from now you’ll regret taking it and wish you hadn’t listened.”
In fact, I recommend taking a year off to travel before deciding what you want to do. It worked for me. It may not for you.
6. He Wrote: Have a firm handshake. (In addition to a good fist bump).
Okay. Whatever. Sure, I love a nice firm handshake. Why he felt the need to make this point number 6 is a tad baffling. Oh, and make sure you tie up your laces when putting on your shoes — that is if you have shoes with laces.
7. He Wrote: Read the WSJ. You’re in business now. Know what’s going on.
I’m not opposed to being lectured at, but the WSJ — okay. Maybe he has stocks in the company. Sure, stay informed, read, and listen to a bunch of things that interest you.
When I read, “You’re in business now.” I was singing … “We’re in the navy now … ta da ta da ta ta da …”
8. He Wrote: Don’t be on Instagram and Snap all day — someone’s paying you for your time.
I actually don’t think Snap (it’s snapchat) is that popular anymore — I could be wrong. I don’t know, this guy just losses credibility as he writes.
9. He Wrote: Take notes in meetings. Every meeting. It shows you value what others are saying.
There are so many ways to stay engaged at a meeting. In fact, ‘taking notes at every meeting’ is a passive exercise. You can be ‘present’ in so many other ways. Sure, write if you’d like, but also, listen, comment, look up and engage in eye-contact (a lost art).
10. He Wrote: Study on your own what your new job is. The more you study the faster you’ll learn, the sooner you’ll make more $$.
Nope. Not necessarily. The more ‘you do’ the better (not faster) you’ll learn. Look, everyone learns differently — some from reading, others by doing, or a combination of both. You must have heard the saying, “Faster is not always better.”Oh, and no one can guarantee that if you ‘study faster, the sooner you’ll make more $$.’ Are you kidding me? This guy lost me at advice #1.
The point in writing and commenting my opposing views, is that I feel for those who seek advice and are steered in the wrong direction, or worse go through his recruiting company and wonder, “What’s wrong with me that I simply don’t fit in?”
My 2 cents worth to the Class of 2022 — Learn as you grow, and you’ll be fine.