Dear Preston: My Boss Treats Me Like a Receptionist


Dear Preston:

I just graduated from college and have landed into my first event planning position. The office is amazing and the planner I work for is incredible but he never really allows me to do anything. In fact, I am often left behind to answer phones and run errands on his behalf while he meets with clients. I am worth way more than this. Should I quit?


Dear Bored:

First, congratulations on graduating and getting your first job. Second, welcome to the real world where you have to earn your stripes, build a reputation and acquire basic skills before you “graduate” to the next level in your career. In my company, we do not have a receptionist because we all take calls, myself included. This can be inconvenient at times, but we work in a busy industry where the client comes first and customer service skills are essential. The idea that every single person in my office, regardless of title, has one-on-one interaction with potential clients, vendors, close friends and partners is beneficial on a number of levels. These callers get to know the people in my company, my staff members get to know them and everyone is on top of their game in terms of offering information and high-level service. Your new boss cares about his clients enough not to place someone who isn’t ready for them in front of them and enough about you to train you. Running errands is something all planners do, so make the most of it! Enjoy walks outdoors and look for inspiration that will aid you in your work. Get to know the vendors you meet by name and when you have a good grasp on the skills acquired through this part of training, sit down with your boss and let him know you are ready for him to watch you in action and give feedback as you are excited about moving into the next part of the process.

Next, I want you to think about your attitude and what you are bringing into the office every day. Your very name (bored) indicates that you’re setting yourself up to be an underachiever. Bored people are boring, uninspired and not exactly the folks we boss’s want to promote in house or to our clients. How about we change your name to “up and coming” and you show up to work excited to be in your first event position and spend your free time watching your new colleagues, asking questions, taking notes and reading up on the industry? I’ll bet your boss takes note and you’ll move up the ranks faster as a result.

What’s your best advice for this young lady?