Fordham Notes: Fordham's Career Services & Buzzfeed's Tips for Millennials New to the Workforce

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fordham's Career Services & Buzzfeed's Tips for Millennials New to the Workforce

Whatever you do, don't be like the main character in the movie,  'Office Space.'

We’re roughly one month away from most college and university commencements, and this means college graduates, including some of ours, are settling into their brand new jobs. “The real world” of work may be a rude awakening for some since not all of its survival tips are taught in the classroom. Luckily, today’s new workforce has the Internet.

Buzzfeed, a site which bills itself as the "first true social news organization," and is well known for publishing listicles, coo-worthy images of cats, and even in-depth analysis of the U.S. economy, has tips for those new to the workforce. In fact, “13 Important Tips For Twentysomethings In TheirFirst Jobs,” includes a tip from Fordham’s very own office of Career Services:

DON’T: Spill personal details to Mandy the PR girl just because she sits next to you.

When you’re a young person at an office filled with lots of young people, it can be tempting to cross the friend–colleague line and talk to your co-workers just like you would your pals at a bar. But even if you just went through a heart-wrenching breakup AND you just got in a fight with your mom AND you’re stressed because you just bounced a check, it might be best to save the cathartic chat for your BFF.

“Leave your life at home,” says Stefany Fattor, director of Career Services at Fordham University. “Yes, I know that girl in marketing is such a good listener. But it’s not the time or place.”

Fattor also adds the following tips, which she shared with us here at Fordham Notes:


Remember that moment before finals when you’d calculate exactly what you had to do to pull of a ‘B’ or ‘C’? Then you’d study the minimum amount possible to make that grade.  Those days are gone my friend. The great thing about the workplace is that you can almost always count on the hardest working, most talented people getting the respect, promotions and best compensation.  Everyone wants a team of talented, generally awesome people. It’s your job to be the most awesome.  Regardless of what you do, whether it’s putting together pitch books for a managing director or picking up latte’s for the queen editor, make sure you’re better at it than anyone else. No matter how menial the task, nothing better will come your way until you're the best at what you do. 


Much like the "leave your life at home," piece of advice, if you’re interested in your supervisor being enchanted by you, it’s simple: Close your personal social media and email, stop texting your mom, and show some personal interest in them. And you know those work events with cocktails. They are still work events.  2 drink maximum!  You're not funnier with a buzz and no one wants to see you put your fist in your mouth. They really don't want to see you hit on the bartender, or worse, a workmate.  Seriously, two drink maximum.  


Have you noticed the job market is tough?  Perhaps you heard there was a recession. People are losing their jobs and having trouble finding jobs. They also aren’t getting big raises. Guess who gets to keep their jobs—people who are indispensible. That’s right, if your boss can’t live without you, or their job would be significantly harder if you weren’t around, you aren’t getting laid off.  In other good news, this is also exactly what you share when it’s time to ask for your first raise. Don’t be that guy that asks for a raise because guys at other firms make more, or your rent is too expensive, or you want new Ferragamo loafers. No one cares. Ask for a raise because the value you add every single day and the value you can add next year is far more than what they have to pay you.  

Read the rest of Buzzfeed’s tips for twentysomethings in their first jobs, including the number one tip, DO: Negotiate your starting salary, even if you’re afraid, here

And since it’s #ThrowbackThursday, check out this 2013 piece in the Chicago Sun-Times “The Grid,” in which Erin McLaughlin, the assistant director of experiential education at Fordham’s Career Services, doles out advice to a twentysomething who asked if she should be taking free candy from a man in her work building. (Yes, it was a real question.)

Remember that Fordham’s Career Services offers several services for students (and some for alumni), including Fordham Futures, a career planning and professional development program that integrates the values of a Jesuit liberal arts education with contemporary society. Learn more here.

-Gina Vergel

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