You’ll never make a decision in your organization.
This is a post originally intended to be submitted on Post Grad Problems and is satirical.
Every organization hires a wide variety of people to handle different tasks. Odds are good that if you’re working anything salaried, you’re the only one doing the thing your particular role does. That means you’re probably the organization’s Subject Matter Expert, the most experienced and knowledgeable person to answer the question “how can your company do X task better?”
Also, if you’re a recent post grad, there’s EVERY LIKELIHOOD they don’t trust you to make the informed decisions you’ve been hired and trained to make. Here’s a few reasons why, and how to cope with each:
Your boss has no idea what you do:
Oftentimes, any decision worth making comes with a series of impacts for the business. For instance, if you’re suggesting that a college upgrade to a mobile friendly website to attract teenagers to apply, which seems like common sense; it’s an expensive investment, a major branding and marketing re-positioning, etc. This impact means risk. Risk means someone might get fired, and you betcherass your boss isn’t gonna get the ax for your pet project.
There’s every possibility your boss entered the field before social media existed. They have a smart phone, but have no idea how to do anything other than check email, like they did on their Blackberries in 2003. You’re a recent grad who knows this new world, and THAT TERRIFIES THEM. You’re looking to move much faster and take fewer steps to get projects done, because you don’t need to dictate every hand-written memo to your secretary.
Help them out by summarizing the project or change by things that make sense: this will save us X dollars, a ton of time, effort, streamline, etc. Go through Dilbert comics and find a few buzzwords from the late 90’s your boss will get. I’ll buy you a shot if you can get “Brandalism” into your a project defense and have it approved.
Remember that no one cares about your degree:
You know how literally no one asks about your GPA after you graduate? They just want to know if you can type, follow orders, and can use Word, right? Go another step further. In the last year, I’ve been in on interviews 10 new positions and 5 interns. I’ll tell you that outside of looking to make sure you actually have a degree, not a single person cares. Have a super specific and helpful degree for your particular project? Tough Tookies.
DO NOT BRING IT UP. “Well, back at Harvard…” -every kid who immediately gets dismissed off-hand. The “real world” is shaped by your bosses opinion. And your boss’ degree is from 40 years ago and useless. Everything they know they learned on the job, because they sure as heck didn’t learn anything during the peak era of quaaluudes and pot. Throwing out that you’ve got a 2013 Master’s degree in web design and online communication from a good university and that might help you shape the new website? Mistaaaaake. Recent interning doctoral candidate working on a thesis in Civil Engineering and Transportation Management? Better not bring that up when they’re talking about a new roundabout in the neighborhood. Your boss doesn’t care.
Face it: until your hair starts graying, you make enough money, and have been promoted enough to be useless, you’re betting off crying into your student loan letters in frustration. You’re better off giving up.