The Game Changer: A Message to the Class of 2007

Having graduated from college a year ago this week, (that pretty much makes me an adult now right??) I think it’s important for me to share some helpful knowledge with the newly graduated class of 2007. This is by no means a “wear sunscreen” speech, which, now that I think about it – why was that thing on the radio? Then again, I don’t understand how a lot of new music makes it to radio.


But I digress…

Having a year under my belt, here are the few things I have learned, that you, the class of 2007, should know:

Don’t Settle:

Do not, and I mean, DO NOT take a job for the sake of taking a job. You are going to be miserable and you know it. Ride it out, looking for a job is tough, but when you find the right fit for you, it makes all the difference.

Patience is a virtue.

Set Salary Expectations:

For you marketing majors, you have more than likely become pretty sick and tired of all of your finance and accounting friends landing jobs as early as October, and then comparing astronomical entry-level salaries. While you may never see $50-$70k right out of school, there is hope. For starters, you will work far fewer hours than they will, so technically you are making more than them – just on an hourly basis. And second, there is a chance you might actually like what you’re doing. See how happy they are when they have to work Sundays, or eat dinner at the office, for the third night in a row.

Leave the number crunching to those guys, you’ll need them to manage your funds after Omnicom buys your agency.

Say Thank You:

There is possibly no quicker way to burn bridges than forgetting this cardinal rule. It is as important for you to make others feel appreciated and it is for you to feel appreciated. Say thank you ALL THE TIME – to a prospective employer after an interview, to a colleague after they help you on the job, to your parents, after they just dropped $100k on your education and to the hippie at Starbucks, who just made your tall-nonfat-caramel-macchiato-double-shot-nonsense. As a student, as an employee, as a manager, as a CEO, as a human being, letting people know their value to you, personally and professionally, is one of the most powerful abilities you have.

Two words go a long way.

Find A Mentor:

Trust me on this; you’re going to need one. Find someone older and wiser, that you don’t directly report to. Navigating the seas of your first “real” job is difficult, and it really does help to have someone to bring your issues to.

Believe it or not, you don’t know everything.

The 6 Month Wall:

This might be the most important thing I will tell you, so pay attention. There is this thing, this funk, this strange feeling that will seep in after a while. I have seen it happen to nearly every single person I know from college, it doesn’t discriminate. It is a hard beast to explain really…you will wake up one day and realize that there isn’t another semester coming, the bubble you have lived in for the past four years is gone and, as one of my favorite movies simply put it, “This is it. This is life.”

Some I know have changed jobs over it, or are at least entertaining the thought. Others have moved out, moved back home, went abroad, to the west coast, or wherever. My advice? Stay right where you are. It is a phase, don’t run from it. This is your real first step into adulthood, and its only natural to “freak out” a bit, but don’t let it get you down. If you have followed at least a few of the first four pieces of advice I’ve given, something tells me you’ll do just fine.

So there you have it, five things you need to know once you graduate college. Now, throw your cap, say goodbye, go home, hug your relatives, have a cold one with that crazy uncle and wake up tomorrow ready for the rest of your life.

Be a Game Changer.


3 Responses to “The Game Changer: A Message to the Class of 2007”

  1. 1 Anonymous May 18, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Read it and reread it. Take it to heart. Its spot on.

  2. 2 Anonymous May 18, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Very important post by someone who seems to have a good head on their shoulders about what the “game” of getting out of college is all about. Great advice…maybe it could spawn into a book, but we all know our bookshelves are cluttered with enough self-help books so the blog post is handy.

    I like the Game Changer theme, some will prefer to: Be THE Game Changer…

    Keep up the good work!

  3. 3 LRWS May 20, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Great job Andrew, now all you have to do is get this word to ALL the graduates. That would be a wonderful feat. Carry on, “On the spot”.

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