Ben Parker, Spiderman’s uncle, once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Yes it is cliché and has been used a thousand times over, but it’s true; success and power bring responsibility. Before we get too far into that topic, though, let’s start at the beginning.
As a young professional fresh out of college, an entry level position is all you can really expect. Entry level jobs don’t have cool titles, don’t have a high salary, include some administrative tasks, don’t have much say in decision-making, but don’t come with an extreme amount of responsibilities. On paper, they really don’t sound enjoyable. While it certainly would be nice to graduate and walk into a high-paying job that allows a great sense of autonomy with great power, that’s not how the world works. Even if you have done every internship under the sun, why would a multimillion-dollar company feel comfortable putting a roughly 21-year-old graduate in anything other than an entry level job? Internships are great, don’t get me wrong, but internships are just that, an internship. They provide a great hands-on experience you cannot get in the classroom but they also are limited in part to the hours an intern usually works.
As horrible as I have made an entry level position sound, they really are something to enjoy. As stated above, an entry level job does not usually come with an extreme amount of responsibility which can mean less stress. That is a wonderful thing that should not be taken for granted. Sure it is fun to sit with the big boys, get to do things the way you think is best, and rake in the money, but think about what else comes with that. In a managerial role, you become responsible for the work of those who report to you on top of your own work, you are responsible for making decisions that affect more than just yourself, and your workload as whole typically becomes greater. While you once left right at the strike of five in an entry level position, you may find yourself leaving at 5:30 or six now. The added responsibilities bring more stress, making it tougher to “leave work at work.” While all that power and responsibility sounds great, it comes with a price.
Enjoy being at the bottom. Soak in as much information as you can to ensure that when the time comes and you are no longer at the bottom, you have the knowledge to make that mid-level position as easy as the entry level one. There’s no shame in having “coordinator” in your title. A great coordinator turns into a great director. The allure of money, power, and quick success is a tough one to fight off, but moving on before you’re ready may leave a feeling of regret.
So I say to you, young fella (cue your favorite NBA announcer), sit down, buckle up, and let the ride take you where it may. Don’t try to rid that coordinator title for the sake of impressing others. Quality work will impress someone far more than your title will. When you’re ready for bigger and better, you and the people around you will know. Enjoy leaving at five, enjoy the decreased sense of responsibility, enjoy leaving work at work, and enjoy learning from those above you. Great power and great responsibility can bring great stress. You’re young, don’t bring on the wrinkles too soon.
(Image: Andrew Hitchcock/Creative Commons)