Jun 10

In this case, ignorance is anything but bliss

I’m amazed at the number of resumes pouring in from recent college grads or students on SummerJobs vacation.

They’re hungry for jobs and have decided that, after some cursory research, Peppercom would be the ideal match for their talents, energy and aspirations.

That may be, but these college kids are a day late and a dollar short. Most, if not all, businesses finalized their Summer intern and junior hires months ago. We were all set in April.

I’m not sure why so many students and graduates continue to make this very basic mistake every year. It could be apathy on their part, poor guidance by their parents and professors, or some other combination of reasons.

Whatever the cause, the end result is the same. They find few, if any, job opportunities.

Job market ignorance sends a strong, subliminal message to prospective employers: we wonder how prepared these students are for the real world? If they don’t take the time and initiative to learn how and when most firms begin their interview process for Summer/full-time employment, how likely are they to hit the ground running?

So, here’s an assignment for next Spring’s graduating class: start your job research now. Narrow your employers’ list by the Fall. Schedule interviews over the Winter holidays and push hard for a commitment by Spring. Demonstrating knowledge of the hiring process is a small, but important, part of shaping your own image and ensuring a successful job search.

Mar 12

A higher concentration of more intelligent women

Some time ago, a gifted junior employee left one PR firm to join another. Fair enough. It happens all theShocked
time. But, in doing so, she’d ruffled some feathers along the way. Again, fair enough. Stuff like that happens as well.

Now, fast forward to a recent industry event in which the CEO of the woman’s former agency bumps into her new boss. Pleasantries are exchanged. Backs are patted. Success stories passed back and forth. Then, as an aside, the woman’s name comes up in conversation. ‘How’s LaSheika doing?’ asks her former employer. ‘Oh, she’s a superstar,’ responds the new boss, with the slightest hint of a smug smile. ‘And, she’s much more content now since she says she didn’t feel intellectually challenged before.’

‘Oh, really?’ asks the erstwhile boss, starting to feel his gastric juices boil. ‘Yes,’ sighs her current employer, ‘she feels we have a higher concentration of more intelligent women.’

Befuddled, bewildered and, by now, totally batshit, the original CEO wraps up the small talk and beats a hasty retreat into the evening air. The next day, he passes along the message to his troops. They, too, are befuddled, bewildered and totally batshit with rage.

Now, fast forward to the present and foreseeable future: the intellectually-sated employee goes about her business at the new firm blissfully unaware that she has done a major job on her image and reputation within the industry. If, and when, she grows tired of the higher concentration of more intelligent women at her current job and begins floating her resume, those toxic remarks will come home to roost in a very big way.

Moral of the story? Loose lips sink ships (and careers). They can also put a real damper on a cocktail reception.