By Hillary C. Wright
“Started from the bottom, now we’re here.” Those catchy lyrics from Drake’s hit song can have real meaning, especially for a millennial. Starting your first job out of college can be exciting. You’ll finally have something besides internships to put on your resume, you’ll make new friends and you’ll be earning better pay. Beginning an entry-level job has hidden benefits. Here are four reasons why you should relish the first few years of your career.
1. You’ll get a good taste of humble pie. You may have been a rock star in college or grad school, but the first couple of years on the job will teach you hard lessons. You’ll have to work hard to prove your competence. You’ll have to actually earn the respect of your colleagues and boss. And that first raise won’t just be given to you. Cultivating the quality of humility goes a long way, and shows that you’ve put things in perspective, knowing that you’re not entitled to anything but are worth your boss’s investment.
2. You’ll be able to fix the copier when it breaks down. Entry-level jobs may involve seemingly menial tasks, especially if you’re an assistant, such as trying your hand at fixing office equipment, getting your boss’s coffee, or booking his flights. While you’d probably prefer to be doing other tasks that “matter,” learning simple skills can instantly make you become the go-to girl, thus, putting you in line for a possible promotion. So don’t take your everyday skills for granted.
3. You’ll have contacts from all areas. The people you meet in the mail room are just as invaluable as the ones in the C-suite. After a promotion, don’t kick them to the wayside. Keep in contact. Who knows? They might just be the connection you need one day, or they could become your boss.
4. You’ll be a better manager. I am by no means in a leadership position, so I cannot speak for bosses and managers. However, I know many managers who are at the junior level. When you’ve been at the bottom, you know what it’s like. You can relate better to your employees. You’ll be aware of their situations and know how to handle them justly when they arise. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be proud of your managing style, and you’ll gain the respect and loyalty of your workers. It’s a win-win.
Hillary C. Wright is a legal assistant at a law firm in Lebanon, Ky. She is also a freelance writer whose work has been seen in local and area newspapers and on online publications including Glass Heel and Career Girl Network. She enjoys writing about women, gender and millennial issues as well as hard news stories. Email her at [email protected], connect with her on LinkedIn, and follow her on Twitter @HillaryCWright.