How To Succeed in Business: Right Reasons Required!


LinkedIn is a great source to connect with colleagues in your field! (Alanna Kilkeary/The Observer)


“Can’t wait to put this on my resume,” she let out a sigh as I finished helping her put away the rest of the photographs into my boss’ folder. I looked over at her. Really? I couldn’t believe my ears. She, too, was a college student living in the city and was assisting my blogger boss’ friend, helping out at photoshoots and filing some stuff away, which included giving me some photos to bring back to my boss. For a budding photographer, you would think she would have been a little more enthusiastic: her boss was a well-acclaimed photographer in the city, who had previously worked for Condé Nast, as well as a few other stellar publications. And all she wanted to do was put this on her resume? That didn’t sound right to me.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October 2013, 74.2 percent of high school graduates who were attending college in the fall were working or looking to work during their next four years. As someone who currently attends college myself, I would not be surprised if this number has increased over the past two years. This could mean any type of work: paid or unpaid, retail jobs, IT jobs, jobs in the food-industry and many more. For many of the students here at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), our peers are working at TV production companies like CNN, arenas like Madison Square Garden, major publishing houses like Random House, startups like the Lala and many other brands, both big and small. Our student body is ambitious, and with our wide variety of experiences, we must learn to take a step back and realize that we should be in this to learn, not solely for the ability to boast about what we’ve done on our resumes. Of course, your experience is going to be recorded on your resume for the next job you seek out, but it’s important to take on a job with honorable intentions: most significantly, curiosity and a desire to learn.

In my experience, I’ve always gotten slack for following around the people I’ve worked for like a puppy-dog, and I’m well aware of it. But, I’ve always done it for the sole purpose of learning. I’ve lived by the motto: you have to be bossed around before you can become the boss.

First was back in high school when I was in a Shakespearian teen-acting company. Our director was not only bat-out-of-hell crazy (in a great way), but she also had a knack for ordering some of us around, and guilty-as-charged, that “some of us,” was mostly me. I did what I was told about 99 percent of the time and worked really hard for her, whether it was organizing costumes on a rack or putting away props in bags- basically tedious things she didn’t want to do. The second instance has been with my blogger boss, who I’m on-call with just about 24/7. Need a show covered? On it. Need photos edited and sent in to you? Done. I’ve learned to be that type of person that just hustles. If it’s not done within five to 10 minutes of the request, I’m not doing the job right. I’ve come to understand that obviously not everyone works this way, but that’s how I’ve learned to be on top of every job that I handle.

But, I didn’t accept these positions so I could put a gold star next to them on my resume, I accepted them so I could build a unique work ethic that not many people have. The reality is just that: not everyone has the ability to hustle in the way that I’ve learned to. Moreover, not everyone wants to be bossed around or do the jobs that the boss doesn’t want to. But I can do these things: I’ve built up the skillset where I know that sometimes you have to do these things, especially when you’re just starting out. I truly believe these skills are vital when building a career and have the ability to better shape you as a leader in your professional future- because guess what, you’ll one day have someone following you around like a puppy-dog.

Throughout all of this, I’ve learned that it’s important to be honest with yourself when you’re taking on a job. You have to ask yourself if this is something that is going to be beneficial for your process of learning, if it’s something you want to learn how to do and most importantly- that it’s something that you’re doing for yourself.