For the next 36 hours I'm in Charlotte for two presentations to new college graduates; new-hires for a large accountiing firm. My message is about how to make the transition from college to the world of work.
Most of the program is essentially The Perfect Workday seminar; lots of tips and strategies about how to be more efficient and effective.
However, there is one short segment at the beginning of the program that usually surprises them. It's called Suds, Cellphones, and Chihuahuas.
Very often, when college-age workers, especially new-hires, come to an orientation program, they believe that it's a vacation. In fact, a lot of the dynamics are the same; away from home, in a hotel that someone else is paying for, nice bar downstairs, and they're surrounded by their peers.
Unfortunately, a small percentage will be overserved, come into the morning program hung-over, and miss opportunities to gain tools that could lead them to success more quickly.
Here's what I tell them: If you are a male don't ever drink more than two beers, or the equivalent, at a function like this. If you are female don't drink more than one. After those quantities judgment is impaired, speech starts slurring and your appearance is not what you want your peers to to remember about you.
But, here's the kicker. If you will maintain control, sooner or later you will hear something or see something, that will advance your career. You will hear someone say something they should not have said, and that bit of business intelligence will serve you well. Or, you will see someone do somenthing that they will remember you having seen, and that will serve you.
General George S. Patton used to throw parties for his officers. He said that you could tell what type of officer a man was by how he drank, and how he smoked a cigars. Fast drinkers and smokers were impetuous, too-slow imbibers where too cautious.
No matter your age, someone, somewhere is always watching. Especially in tough times, in which it seems that everyone's job is at stake, make sure others see the you you want them to see.
Tomorrow we'll talk about cellphones.