Today I feel like giving advice again. I’ve made my share of rookie mistakes at my first “real” job. But I’ve also learned certain truths that are important when it comes to succeeding at your job. Here are my tips:
- Be Nice. Such simple advice, but so important. Say “Please” and “Thank You.” “Sir” and “Ma’am.” Remember your manners. Never underestimate the importance of treating people well. You’d be shocked at how many people (even in an office setting), think screaming and cursing will help them get ahead. It won’t. Plus people will hate you. And it’s harder to get your job done when people hate you.
- Make Elevator Speeches. If you work in a building with an elevator, or even a bathroom, don’t let people leave without saying “Hi” or initiating conversation. Yeah it’s awkward, but it’s also a great way to meet people who you may end up working closely with. I try to meet one new person a day.
If you’re looking for the perfect present for a recent college grad, I have two words for you: health insurance. Absolutely nothing compares to the gift of medical coverage for little John and Jane as they run around frantically peddling resumes in the middle of a crumbling economy. Seriously, not even that new ipod.
Because as those kiddos job hunt, or travel, or paint in studios in South Philly, they’re going to need health insurance. Dental and medical. Even if they’re young and healthy. Rosy cheeks. Sparkling eyes. Because one of these days they might just eat a bad taco and find themselves sweating it out at the local ER. And the $150 bill for uninsured patients might seem reasonable until weeks later when they get the doctor’s bill for $400.
Or they may chip a tooth on un-boiled ramen noodles because their gas just went out. And when the student doctor at the dental school takes an x-ray, she decides you need a root canal and crown, effectively taking the $1200 you were saving for your hybrid car, or the deposit on that cute place by pine.
So do me a favor, Santa. This Christmas, give the college grads some Aflac, or the like. Forget all the other crap. They can buy that when they get a job.