A Message to New College Graduates


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A Message to New College Graduates

Recently, I asked one of my employees when she was born. I nearly had a heart attack. She was born the year I graduated high school. Yikes… I’m only 40, but that makes me feel really old. How can she be so young? And most importantly, can she really handle the pressure at a public relations agency? Is she actually going to work hard? Will she feel entitled?

We’ll come back to her story later.

Next month, young men and women will be throwing their caps in the air as they graduate college. Some will have jobs, while others will still be searching for the perfect job. A job that in their minds includes a lot of vacation time, a flexible schedule, and a big paycheck. You can’t blame them for thinking that they deserve those perks. Many of them spent four years listening to their professors tell them that they should ask for the world.

Now, I’m not saying that every professor has said this. Nor am I saying that every college graduate thinks this way. But, I have heard them say it. I have had interns who were the ultimate example of this. Showing up late, not wanting to do the work because it was “not fun,” leaving early and putting in very little effort.

I have been in other work environments where the boss had asked his employee a question. Instead of her getting up to go to his office, she asked him to come to her office. You know what the problem is? She has no respect for her boss. You don’t ask your boss to come to you. You go their office. You say please. You say thank you. And you show respect. Treat those how you want to be treated.

As a business owner, I would like to offer some advice to college graduates who will be entering the workforce this summer.

Be Realistic
When you are applying to a job ask for a realistic salary and benefits. Do you research and find out what the salary range is in your market for that job. If you are a social media assistant in Montana, you are not going to get $50,000 with three weeks vacation time and bonuses. Let’s be real. You are 21 with no real work experience.

Many offices have 6-month reviews. Even if you are doing a stellar job, you may not get a raise. And if you do, it’s not going to be a 20% raise. Six months into the job is when you are just beginning to get the hang of things. Give yourself a year at the company before you ask for a raise.

Show up Early and Stay Late
Get to the office a few minutes before you are scheduled to be there. And no, you won’t get paid for the five minutes of time. This will show your boss that you are dedicated to the job. If you are working on a  project and the deadline is that day, you stay late. Get it done.

Pick up the Phone
I am all about texting, but there are times that you need to pick up the phone. When you are sick, call your boss. And FYI, if you were posting a night out on Snapchat and the next day you call out, your boss will know. They always do.

Hustle
If you want to succeed, you have to work your butt off. Show up early, stay late, be engaged at work and don’t EVER say “that’s not my job.” You take out the trash, you fill the printer with paper and you do whatever else needs to get done with your team. If you do these things, not only will you have the respect of your co-workers but also from your boss.

Let’s get back to my young employee who I was questioning if she could handle the hectic world of public relations. I have to be honest – I was very nervous about having her on my team.

But, this recent college graduate shined. She showed up early, worked late, never complained, pitched in when the team needed help and didn’t expect anything to be handed to her. It turns out that she can handle the pressure at a public relations agency. She works really hard. And no, she does not fee entitled.

She is the classic example of a hustler. A young woman who will go far, impress her team and her boss. She will succeed. She will move up. She will inspire others.

Her generation has been called snowflakes, spoiled, entitled, lazy etc. Don’t fall into that category. This is your opportunity to show your boss that you are not any of those. This is your opportunity to shine. This is your opportunity to grow. This is your opportunity to succeed.

 

About Alison Podworski

Alison Podworski has always been fascinated by the news; watching it, reporting it and now pitching it. Alison began her career in the television news industry right out of college in New York and quickly moved up in the Springfield, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island television markets. She covered everything from the September 11th terrorist attacks to Presidential campaigns. Alison later transitioned into the marketing and public relations side by working with clients in industries from banking and insurance to medicine. Alison also worked with ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover Suffield, CT edition in planning the cast and crew after party. Through hard work and experience in the news industry, Alison garnered national, regional and local press for clients. In 2014, Alison opened Alison May Public Relations, a boutique public relations firm specializing in PR and social media. Through her experience in the news industry and corporate world, Alison continues to garner national, regional and local press for clients. A native of Western Massachusetts, Alison lives locally with her husband and three beautiful young girls.

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