Ask Dr. Karen - May 4
Dear Dr. Karen,
My son is about to graduate
from college and of course he hasn’t learned anything about
finance or the world of work. Can you give me some pitch advice
to help him start his new career on the right foot?
Thanks, Anxious dad
Dear Anxious dad,
There are three guidelines he
needs to keep in mind
No matter how great a student he was the skills he
excelled at in college may get him in trouble in his job. To
succeed at school we need to be very good at memorizing and
giving back what we’ve learned when we have exams. Our
technical proficiency and problem solving serve us well. We are
rewarded for working harder and getting better grades than other
students. That kind of behavior can get him in trouble if he
tries to look better than others. You are expected to be a team
player on the job which means you work for the good of the team,
not to make yourself look good.
He cannot “hit the road running” because he will
undoubtedly hit obstacles and political mine fields that way.
His job is to take as much time as possible to find out about
the company and what people do. This is a period of exploration
and a lot of question asking whenever he can.
He needs to “act dumb and think dirty” in the early days.
“Act dumb” by keeping his mouth shut and his opinions to
himself. He doesn’t have the age or experience to tell others
what to do. “Think dirty” because you have to have seen people
in action before you can start to trust them.
If he needs to ask questions
about these just let me know.