Office Bitch or MVP? How Gen-Yers Can Use Entry Level Jobs to Their Advantage

7 Feb

God I hate doing travel requests. Calculating mileage. Running around to get the freaking paper signed by upper management. Wondering how the hell they can afford letting these people stay at 4 and 5 star hotels for their meetings. Oh well, not my business. I just fill out the form.

Travel requests, invoices, bitch work. Answering phones, scheduling meetings, running around to collect signatures. These are all common tasks that are delegated to none other than the office bitch. And who better to fill this position than a new-to-the-workforce Gen-Yer.

So what do we do? We take the job and quickly become acquainted with the world of purchasing requests, Staples orders, and PowerPoint presentations, which by the way, we never get credit for. I promise you, you’ll never hear this…

Big time Exec: “Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes my presentation. Thank you so much for joining me for this big important meeting.”

Members of big important meeting: “Big time Exec, that was a fantastic presentation. Great job.”

Big time Exec: “Why thank you, my assistant actually put it together for me. I don’t even know how to use PowerPoint but my assistant is a pro.”

It’s no secret that Gen-Y is not a fan of “Paying Dues.” Penelope Trunk even goes as far as calling it “Old School.”  So yes, Gen-Y, we’re not alone. However, for now, until management decides to wake up, we’re still going to have to deal with being the office bitch. So here’s how to make the most out of every single boring, annoying, shitty, situation.

1. The Value of Face Time

Most managers are so busy that they hardly have time to meet with their employees. The beauty of being your boss’ bitch, I mean, assistant, is that you DO have the time. If your boss asks you to find out something from one of his/her employees, rather than always sending an e-mail, whenever possible, try to meet with them face-to-face. THAT’S how you will build your network and make connections that are essential to the beginning of your career. Eventually, I promise you, these employees will start coming to you to resolve their issues, rather than waiting a week to hear back from your boss.

2. Market Yourself

At my old job, I was the Publisher Queen. I created flyers and invitations better than anyone in my department. Sure it was a bit annoying. Sure I’d rather have been doing other things. But guess what? I was good at it. So what did I do? I made sure that EVERYONE knew it. Anytime that there was an event, I would offer to create the invite or the flyer. After a few months, people from all different departments were e-mailing me asking me to create their flyers. Whatever it is that you know how to do well, regardless of how tedious it is, make sure you market yourself as a pro. If you’re really good at creating spreadsheets, jump on every chance you get to create one.  That’s how you’ll make a name for yourself. That’s how people will remember you. That’s how you’ll be given opportunities to grow.

3. See Everything As A Learning Opportunity

Ok, so sure, invoicing and contacting vendors are really a pain in the ass. Here’s my advice to you though:  learn how to do anything and everything that is a pain in the ass that no one wants to do! Why? Because there is nothing more amazing than having your boss ask you to explain XYZ process. The more you know, the more of an asset you are to any organiztion. The more reason they have to keep you. When you can teach them something, you have power. You have leverage. It’s called being indispensible.  

So even though your boss might treat you like the office bitch, if you take advantage of all that you can learn, you will certainly prove to be the MVP  and you’ll leave your boss saying…

“Kayla, what would I do if I didn’t have you as my assistant?”

Well sir, you’d be fired, because quite frankly, you don’t know how to do anything yourself.

3 Responses to “Office Bitch or MVP? How Gen-Yers Can Use Entry Level Jobs to Their Advantage”

  1. zuvesta March 7, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    WOW – you got this spot on! I absolutely agree with all of your points – especially the fact that as an assistant/office bitch you have the advantage of valuable face-time with high-level execs. You have access to some high-powered, high-influencing people that others don’t, which makes networking a breeze. Love your articles!

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