Fed up with admin chores?
I am a fresh graduate working as an admin assistant at a luxury brand. I’ve been annoyed lately, as I’m not stretching my abilities. I know we have to start from the bottom, but my supervisor told me I won’t get a lot of exposure right now and there’s no way of avoiding admin duties. He even messaged me on a weekend to reserve a restaurant table for him. I don’t see a career path. Do you think it’s too soon to decide?
You are certainly not alone – while you may feel your fellow graduates are one step from making CEO, the reality is very different. The simple fact is that everyone has to start at the bottom.
Having joined the recruitment industry as a fresh graduate 10 years ago, I certainly understand your dilemma.
I remember sharing a drink after work with my graduate intake and discussing the very question you posed.
But what I learnt from that experience is that by starting at the bottom you learn how a business operates from the ground up, which can only be a positive thing. I am now aware of how little I knew and how unprepared I was for the working world. I stayed with my first firm for five years and it set me up extremely well in my career.
Remember, value is crucial. Having transitioned into a role where I hire many graduates every year, I understand that every hire has to create value. As a graduate, you won’t be able to add value in the short term, so there has to be a trade off. While you will gain experience, the organisation can allow its more senior employees to spend less time on admin and more time on creating value.
Having said all that, it is clear that some organisations take advantage of this deal. You have managed to secure an opportunity in the sought-after luxury industry where unfortunately there are dozens of young graduates willing to do whatever it takes to get their foot in the door.
However, developing such a reputation can mean these companies will struggle to hire top graduates in the future.
To make a more informed decision on whether you have a career path in your company, look at the quality of people above you and the progression of other graduates in the company.
It is always important to focus on the big picture rather than worry about the day-to-day frustrations and you will be able to make a more informed decision.