Good Luck Grads! 16 Things You Need to Know
Companies need recent grads, because they’re cheap, coachable and desperate. But just because you’re desperate, doesn’t mean you can’t have standards (you’re not closing the bar here, champ). Once you make sure the company you’re applying to isn’t a pyramid scheme, you begin making it rain applications like its your first time at a strip joint. Here are a few things to expect in both types of companies you will encounter in your search for your entry level, bottom of the pyramid, bitch work job:
● It’s basically college! The people are your age, there are plenty of hot girls way out of your league, there is no dress code and often times the office resembles something you wish your dorm looked like. (Of course without the bathroom shitsmears, and with a lot more coke on the toilet seats).
● Ping pong tables/foosball tables/TVs/games. Wanna play a game after your catered lunch? Good luck. That lanky hipster from Michigan who has been here for 2 years will kick your ass and promptly tell you about that craft beer he tried over the weekend with his disproportionately hot girlfriend.
● Autonomy. Often times you might have the freedom to actually contribute meaningful, creative work, which will not only make you feel important and teach you many things, it will also give your resume six pack abs.
● A lot of startups are growing like crazy and things move fast. If you can hop on the bandwagon at the right moment, stay there as long as you can, chances are you will be a “Senior Something” by the time you’re 26. Senior Somethings often times make a lot of money.
● Everything can go to shit in the blink of an eye. Startups are like sports cars; they’re small, fast, sexy and they somehow make picking up girls a lot easier. The problem is that one bad quarter can set you flying like James Bond’s Aston Martin in Casino Royale (Six and a half tumbles; I counted). This all happens mostly because….
● Middle management is young and inexperienced. One may have a dope car, but if the driver has no idea what they’re doing, bad things happen and your ass gets laid off, all because your 28 year old manager didn’t hit the quota for his team.
● Turnover is yuge. In a fast-paced, money-crazed culture, if you can’t take the heat, take as many free snacks as you can and get out of the kitchen. Don’t expect to make a lot of long lasting friends, because chances are most people won’t make it past 4 months. And in terms of “Resume Lingo” that counts as “I didn’t have a job for the past 4 months”.
● Lack of real structure. Sure, you may think that what you’re doing is fun, but company-specific jobs may not translate well into other positions you’ll be looking for when you leave (or get your ass laid off). It’s a gamble. “Growth Hacker” isn’t a real fucking title.
● Stability, stability, stability. Often times it’s safe to bet that multinational corporations know what they are doing. Corporations are like minivans: boring, but spacious and reliable. As a recent grad, that is what you want. You need an environment with clear guidelines where you can learn and grow. Even if you studied business and you entered the field of business to do business with businesses, you still don’t know shit. So pick up a pen and take notes.
● People are older, wiser… cooler? When you think corporate, you’re thinking “dark-haired protagonist of early 2000’s movie with a white shirt, tie and an asshole boss.” Just because your supervisor doesn’t pop mollies on the weekend, doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two about life from them. Again, you are here to learn from people who have been working longer than you have been on this Earth.
● Real Networking. You meet people who have been places and will be going places. If you’re like me, you always have a Plan B (giggity). It takes time and effort to climb up the corporate ladder. Befriend your seniors, because they will take you places as well. It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you suck up hard enough to.
● Real Benefits. Sure, a startup may have ping pong tables. Who gives a shit? How does that help you pay off your school loans? Corporations know that real adults care about real benefits, like: generous 401k, stock options, health insurance, commuter benefits, vacation, promotions etc. These may all sound lame to a college student, but remember: you’re an adult now.
● It’s boring as FUCK. Holy shit dude. In an office with 3,000 people, things move slowly. And when I mean slow, I mean “browsing-dankmemes-for-2-months-straight” slow. Unless you’re a stock analyst or w/e those people who sit in front of 6 screens at a Bloomberg terminal are called, you will often times be bored. This in return will have the following effect:
● You will get old, quick. Working with older people in a boring, no-fun-allowed environment will suck the youth out of you faster than a sorority girl who’s “not like other girls.” After a day of listening to the sound of the A/C and mouse clicking, you are left mentally drained and uninspired to pursue other hobbies. The doctor prescribes drugs and attending an appropriate amount of EDM festivals to compensate.
● When it rains, it pours. Corporate layoffs are bad news. If a corporation is laying off hundreds or thousands of people, it can a be a sign of something ominous. If you’re unfortunate enough to get flushed with everyone else, pray that it’s your company that’s tanking and not the industry, or worse; the global economy.
● Deadlines and assholes. If you want a change of pace at a startup, you can take your laptop and beanbag chair and move to a conference room. Here in corporate world, you are stuck in a cubicle next to a person you will get sick of sooner or later. Know what’s worse? When that person is your supervisor and reminds you to do something when you were LITERALLY ABOUT TO DO IT I JUST FORGOT TO CC STEPHANIE. GOD.
Both have their strengths and their weaknesses (just like YOU :D). It’s ultimately up to you to decide in which environment you will thrive in, and at the end of the day beggars can’t be choosers. Take that first job, rock it, know your limits, set expectations and hold onto it for yer dear life. Chances are your first job might suck a little, but it doesn’t have to if you take it one day at a time. You didn’t learn shit in college. Real learning begins now. As Blink 182 once said: “Well I guess this is growing up”.