God I hate doing travel requests. Calculating mileage. Running around getting the freaking paper signed by upper management. Wondering how the hell they can afford to let people stay at 4 and 5 star hotels for their meetings…
Travel requests, invoices, answering phones, scheduling meetings, running around to collect signatures. These are all common tasks delegated to none other than the new-to-the-workforce Gen-Yer.
So what do we do?
It’s no secret that Gen-Y is not a fan of “Paying Dues.” Penelope Trunk even goes as far as calling it “Old School.” So, fellow members of Gen-Y, we’re not alone. However, for now, until management decides to wake up, we’re going to have to deal with being the office bitch… for now.
Here’s how to use entry-level jobs to your advantage:
Value Face Time
Most managers are so busy that they hardly have time to meet with their employees. The beauty of being your boss’ bitch, I mean, assistant, is that you DO have the time. If your boss asks you to find out something from one of his/her employees, rather than always sending an e-mail, whenever possible, try to meet with them face-to-face.
THAT’S how you will build your network and make connections that are essential to the beginning of your career. Eventually, I promise you, these employees will start coming to you to resolve their issues, rather than waiting a week to hear back from your boss.
At my old job, I was the Publisher Queen. I created flyers and invitations better than anyone in my department. Sure, it was a bit annoying. Sure, I’d rather have been doing other things. But guess what? I was good at it. So what did I do? I made sure that EVERYONE knew it.
Anytime that there was an event, I would offer to create the invite or the flyer. After a few months, people from all different departments were e-mailing me asking me to create their flyers. Whatever it is that you know how to do well, regardless of how tedious it is, make sure you market yourself as a pro. If you’re really good at creating spreadsheets, jump on every chance you get to create one. That’s how you’ll make a name for yourself. That’s how people will remember you. That’s how you’ll be given opportunities to grow.
See Everything As A Learning Opportunity
Ok, so sure, invoicing and contacting vendors are really a pain in the ass. Here’s my advice to you though: learn how to do anything and everything that is a pain in the ass that no one wants to do! Why? Because there is nothing more amazing than having your boss ask you to explain XYZ process. The more you know, the more of an asset you are to any organiztion. The more reason they have to keep you. When you can teach them something, you have power. You have leverage. It’s called being indispensible.
So even though your boss might treat you like the office bitch, if you take advantage of all that you can learn, you will certainly prove to be the MVP and you’ll leave your boss saying… “Kayla, what would I do if I didn’t have you as my assistant?”
“Well sir, you’d be fired, because quite frankly, you don’t know how to do anything yourself.”
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Gen Y Girl!
About the Author: Kayla Cruz graduated college at the age of 20 with a degree in Health Services Administration. She is currently working as a Regulatory Coordinator in Clinical Research while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration specializing in Human Resources. She has found she’s most passionate about helping young professionals navigate through their first few years as GenYers in the workforce. Follow Kayla on Twitter!