More Advice For Your First Job.

649236630In a recent Struming I addressed advice for your first job. I had many pass-alongs from that Struming (probably from parents to their kids—It’s easier to have someone else provide the advice to your child). The advice I had in the earlier Struming were thoughts I had years ago when I was running ad agencies in the 90s. Though the world is changing at warp speed, some of the basic principles still apply. However, the changing nature of the business world has led me to augment this advice.

Here is more advice for your first job:

1. Put down your phone

Don’t bring it to meetings and don’t check emails, twitter, etc. during a meeting. The only person who should do so is someone who is expecting a baby or family member is ill. (BTW, I am guilty too, I think putting down phones is good advice at all levels of management)

2. When in a meeting, take notes

It burns my ass when someone “forgets” what was discussed and then doesn’t do the agreed upon task. It always was (and is) the responsibility of the junior staff member to take notes, issue a meeting report and next steps.

3. Learn how to write for business

No slang, no acronyms. Serious business writing without prose. Agreements summarized, next steps, responsibilities, timing. You won’t win a Pulitzer for this, but you will win the respect of others of being on top of stuff.

4. Meet and talk—don’t just text and email

It blows my mind when snarky emails are exchanged to try to solve a business issue. Emails often inflame issues, they don’t solve them. Talk, meet, resolve, shake hands. I know I sound like an old man, but old time interpersonal stuff still works well, even in a digital world.

5. As a corollary to #4, don’t hide behind emails

“I emailed them that we needed it Tuesday”, so the excuse goes. Did you gently get in the face of the person who you needed something from a couple of days in advance to see that it was on track?

6. When you screw up, admit it

We all screw up. If you do, own it, solve it and move forward. Learning through adversity is good, not bad. Don’t make the same mistake again and please don’t try to cloud the issue and offer vague “reasons” while blaming others.

Keep these in mind as you try and find your way. Work hard, be honest, likable and dependable and success will be yours.

More Strumings

Leave a Reply