Starting From The Bottom: Being An Assistant Prepared Me For My Career
Success doesn’t magically happen overnight. It’s a combined effort of hard work, perseverance, and vision. All great leaders and influential figures such as CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, Record-Breaking Artists, and Best-Selling Authors have started in a position that rendered them with little to no status. Regardless, they were able to work their way up and establish a name for themselves.
I began my career only several weeks after graduating college. I graduated from Rutgers University on May 18, 2012. Less than three weeks later, I started my first post-graduate job as an Advertising Sales Assistant at a Publishing Company which housed one of my favorite magazine titles in the world. It was a dream-come true. My wide-eyed self was so thrilled at the ease in which I was able to land a job (let alone a job that revolved around something I loved so much) that I didn’t think twice about the reality of it. Little did I know, I would take away so much more than just “I once worked at Runner’s World Magazine!”
As a recent college graduate, I had no idea of what to expect in the “real world”. I just knew of what my college professors taught me in the classroom and what I’ve been told by my family and friends. The truth that I learned is that you never really have a complete understanding of something until you experience it yourself.
People often look down upon those who are assistants. Whether you are an assistant to a Managing Director, Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, or so on, people often think that your skills trickle down to nothing more than minuscule tasks such as sending out Outlook calendar invites, getting your boss a cup of coffee, and printing out massive copies of powerpoint presentations for large meetings. To be completely honest, these things really do happen and they are a part of your job.
Even though these tasks seem mundane and tedious, by all means, take no offense. Understand that the people you are assisting are many steps above you. They have already put in their time of being at the bottom and now have greater responsibilities to attend to. They have all started in the same exact spot that you are in, so do not be discouraged just because this is where you are right now.