Mike King and I co-hosting “Heading Home” on WSAE in 1994. Showing off my Cosby sweater. I was just beginning to understand that who I am matters more than what I can do. But at 22, it sure was a fun ride.
Part One: Skills
Porftolio vs. GPA
Your portfolio matters more than your GPA. But your GPA does matter. If I had to pick between an A+ talent with a 2.5 GPA and a B+ talent with a 3.5 GPA, I’d probably pick the B+ talent. Why? Because to me, GPA is a signal of effort and discipline. A B+ talent will be more consistent and probably stay longer than an A+ talent with less effort and discipline.
Follow the people you want to be like. Read what they read. Then contribute to the conversation. Get on Google Plus and be active there. Post comments. Then be faithful in the little things now. Be a good worker today and network with people you’re around.
You’re always planting a seed whether you know it or not. Sow purposefully and wisely.Click to tweet
20-somethings have a reputation for some great things – and some not so great. One of the elephants in the room is that college students and post-college don’t have a solid work ethic. I remember when I was a senior in high school I had three jobs:
- Gas station attendant (yes, they still exist and yes, I can clean your windshield like nobody’s business)
- Radio DJ
- Clean the church
The summer after I graduated, I knew I was going to need to pay for college on my own. My parents were in the ministry. No cashola. The local dentist on our block recognized this and wanted to give me some significant money for college. But he wanted me to understand the value of hard work. So he offered to pay me to dig out the basement of his office. By hand. Pick. Shovel. 5-gallon buckets. Go from a 4-foot dirt floor to an 8-foot dirt floor. I’m 6’2″. And I did it. And he paid me well. Maybe it’s me sounding like an old person. Maybe it’s spending too much time with high school students because I have one. Maybe it’s because I spend lots of time with college faculty and staff who share your dirty laundry. Regardless, you have a rep. And you can do something about it. Here are a few suggestions:
- Be punctual: On time is late. Be at meetings early.
- Be tidy: Your work area reflects you. It can be a bit messy. But TLC shouldn’t be asking to do a reality show about your messiness
- Be reliable: Become a person others can count on. Available over the weekend. After hours. In a pinch. Become a “UPS” team member. Deliver.
- Be committed: If the job is requiring 50 hours this week, work 55. Nobody likes someone who puts in the minimum. It’s bad for culture and if I’m your boss, it would be bad for your future.
If you don’t have a work ethic, get one or just move back with your parents and play Xbox.Click to tweet
I want to work with people who are committed. Not taking advantage. Just knowing people are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. As your boss, I’d rather be saying, “Take some time with you family or a few days to yourself and don’t write it down. You’ve worked hard this month. You need a break to have good balance” rather than, “Man, you’re not really pulling your weight. You need to step it up.” Make sense? Work hard.