My Single Piece of Advice to 2010 Graduates (PR or not)

Photo from: Ricomoss
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve made this mistake more than once. A few times, it has worked out well for me. Others have been total disasters.

Don’t accept the first job offer that comes your way, just because it is the first.

Think about that for a minute. Job hunting is scary. It is intimidating and isn’t easy. But trying to fit yourself into a company that doesn’t work for you or a boss with a personality that doesn’t mesh with yours is worse. Unless the position is a perfect fit and will offer you everything you want in a company, culture and in personal relationships with co-workers, it is ok to turn it down.

Yes, your parents might be disappointed and your friends might not understand, but they are not the ones who will have to work there for nine hours (or more!) a day, five (or more!) days per week.

It is perfectly fine to turn down a job you wouldn’t find the work interesting. Of if after the interview you have a gut feeling that it wouldn’t be a good fit. Don’t ignore that. Don’t just say, well it might not be so bad. You have instincts for a reason.

I was on one interview where my possible future boss, stepped on every sentence I had. She was a bit abrasive even in the interview setting. If I had listened to my gut, I would have realized that if she acts this way now, she’ll be even worse if I actually worked for her. And she was.

If I hadn’t just accepted that job off the bat and had waited just a week more, I could have accepted a job in a better environment, with a more collegial staff. I didn’t accept because I had just started a new job. I still kick myself for that.

There are many resources available to you to help decide if an offer is right for you. Just start with Google or your Help a PR Pro Out comrades. In the end, it is your choice. If it doesn’t feel like a choice, consider that a sign that it might be worth waiting for the next opportunity.

Decisions, Decisions

I hate making decisions. I want to get everyone’s opinions and suggestions and thoughts before I commit to almost anything from what to make for dinner to an idea in the office. While this mentality ensures I’m not stepping on any toes, or making any one angry, it also means I can miss out when decisions need to be made quickly. This isn’t to say I can and don’t make a decision quickly when I have to, it means I fret over them until I close my eyes and jump.

Which brings me to the essential question, when did going with your instincts stop being a good reason to do something? Your brain processes information your conscious hasn’t had a chance to dissect. Maybe the reason you believe your colleague would be a great person to collaborate with is because your brain remembers how that person worked with someone else in the past or vice versa.

In this era of over information, having too much information or too many options can make making that decision ten times harder. I’m not the only one. The local Chamber of Commerce regularly hosts seminars or Lunch and Learns titles: “Pull the Ripcord – Discover a process that helps make tough decisions easier. Identify the type of decision you have to make, Isolate the decision objective and Initiate the Action.”

Sometimes, I think attending one of these would be good for me. Then again, I also think, what can they tell me that I don’t already know? I know I should listen to my instincts more often. I know I shouldn’t fret about a decision I’ve already made.

Have you attended a seminar for decision making? What did you think about it? How do you handle making decisions with an abundance of information available?