From time to time on this blog (read: ALL the time) I try to offer up some advice for all those newly graduated minions out there. With the job market still so tough and with how hard it is to break into the HR field, I am more than happy to try in my own small way to help prepare those new HR pros out there for some of the challenges they will face.
But where to start? There are TONS of content both here on this blog, and on thousands of other blogs and career advice books that address this subject. There is no end of topics I could cover. But if I had to pick one piece of advice, just one thing that I feel makes the difference between success and failure, it would have to be this:
You are never too smart/good/attractive/young/old/educated/clever/rich/important/critical for ANYTHING.
You are never too important… to be nice to the receptionist.
You are never too critical to a company… that you don’t need to follow the rules.
You are never too smart… for repetitive tasks.
You are never too good… for entry level jobs.
You are never too anything at all.
The second you find yourself thinking that you are too much of anything is the minute that you stop acting like a professional people want to work with and you start acting like an entitled pain in the butt no one wants to be around.
I’ve seen a lot of amazing recent graduates in their first job throw all their wonderful potential away because of their false sense of entitlement. They were too focused on what they felt their employer OWED them and not on what value they could provide to their employer. They would balk at hard work, or turn their nose up at an entry level job, or get so focused on the future job they wanted that they forgot to do the job they had.
It’s both a waste and a shame. Some of them, maybe after some hard times, will finally figure out what they are doing wrong, but sadly, not all of them will. So please, save yourself a lot of struggle and take this advice to heart.
And push yourself to do the best job you can, no matter what job you have.
The more open you are to the world around you, the more open the world will be to you.