It’s an exciting time, getting your first job. You’re wondering about everything, you’re curious, you have lots of questions. Contrary to your hippie dippie teachers, there is such thing as a bad question. Several of them, actually. Ok here’s the thing. Consider me the older sister you never wanted or the babysitter who told you to go outside and play, but I’m going to lay this out for you so that you don’t embarrass yourselves and ask your recruiters or managers these questions. There will be other reasons for them to laugh at you….let it not be these 5 things, which might make them hate you, too. Or at the very least question why they hired you in the first place.
Leggings are not pants. No matter how hard Target tries to convince you otherwise by calling them “legging-pants,” they just aren’t. If you aren’t sure if you should wear them, you probably shouldn’t. That’s just a good rule for life. There’s no need to send out a group text to all your friends to see if you should wear them on Wednesday with your new tunic. You shouldn’t. Put on some damn pants, get on the bus and get yourself to work.
Nobody cares how you get to work. Just get to work. Unless you have somehow found yourself part of a fellowship with members of questionable height, excessive body hair or immortality, don’t ask me how you should get there. You have a smartphone. You’ve been on it during every single class you’ve ever attended. Use it.
Once you do get to the office and start working, do not ever ask what time you should come to the office. Shout “8am meetings are a-ok by me!” but don’t ask “What time do I have to come to the office?” Not ever. Because the answer is “Well you don’t HAVE to do anything. You don’t even HAVE to work here.” And do remember, when you are late, you aren’t late for class. You’re late for work.
Remember your social security number. I know, it’s a lot of numbers but just try. Yes, you’ll need it. You’ll need it for everything. No, I can’t get it for you. It is your identity. It is what people steal when they want to steal your you. It is what identifies you as you for the bank, for your taxes, for your insurance, for all the money you are saving by living at home.
Speaking of your mom, if you used her as the answer to a security question, do her a favor and don’t forget her maiden name. It hasn’t changed. Not ever. And no, I don’t know it. And no, I cannot find it. Don’t ever ask me that again.
Finally, you’ve probably heard “Do What You Love!!!!!” as a rule for the kind of work you should do. You probably also know it as YOLO or I Have No Regrets or maybe even Carpe Diem if your brother or sister or babysitter allowed you to watch Dead Poets Society as long as you stayed completely silent and didn’t move at all, especially during that one scene. Well, that’s a bunch of bullshit. If it were not, I would right now be eating and drinking the profits of my cheese-making vinter shop, looking at my new shoes but I am not a cheese- monger, a vinter nor a cobbler. What that phrase means is “Do Something You LIKE.” Make sure something about what you are doing inspires, motivates or educates you. That it makes you smile. That it helps you grow. Be active about your career. Own it. Like your social security number, it’s all yours.