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Chronicles of a Graduate: Put in Your Time

Hello, everyone.  Checking in from corporate America.

I have heard the phrase “you have to put in your time” more times than I can count since I started college.  There is a heavy focus on the idea that everyone has to start somewhere, and if you aren’t willing to start at the bottom and do the grunt work with a smile on your face, they you don’t get past the bottom.  You have to prove that you can do something before you can do something + responsibility.

Okay, so that is what it is.  But how long does that “putting in your time” stage last?  I’m sure that it’s largely driven by personal investment in your own advancement.  But at what stage does the term “entry level” fade away?

Status -- Earned or Given?

There are some people who people just listen to, regardless of the level at which they are working.  This concept fascinates me--for example, the way an admin assistant can hold a certain amount of power because of all the information he or she holds.  There is a young woman I work with who knows just about everyone and everything.  Though she’s only been with the company a little over a year, people listen to hear and respect her opinion.  In a large corporation with thousands of employees, it’s really easy to be drowned out or swept to the side.

This week as I sit here writing, I’m wondering what gives someone’s opinion more gravity in the workplace.  What inspires you to really listen to someone?  Does age matter, or is there something else that is key to the whole idea?

About the Author

Patty MarraPatty Marra is a freshly graduated alumna of Marquette University, who is working on answering the question, “…what next?”  She is navigating the ever-evolving hiring maze of today’s business environment, and sharing the pieces of knowledge she learns along the way.  She loves social media, but appreciates a good face-to-face conversation.  Long-term, she is looking to establish a career in marketing project management, and help everyone she can along the way.  You can get in touch with her by email, or you can find more of her thoughts via her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Does this sound familiar? Are you in the same situation?  Have you been here before -- what's your advice for Patty? Please comment below.

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