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Compiled and edited by Julie Tereshchuk

Dear Mentors,

I’m a recent graduate, and very thankful to have landed a full-time communications position in Austin. However, with all the uncertainty in today’s business environment, and life generally, I’d like some advice on where I should set my expectations.

Should I think long term, seeing this as the first step on my career ladder, and something to build on? (If so, what’s the magic formula for doing that?)

Or, should I think short term, and still be considering my options, keeping them open and even consider returning to grad school?

Thanks for your help!




Dear Mentee,

Barring any major issues (poor work environment, etc.), feel free to settle for a year or two. I talk to so many fresh-out-of-college communications professionals who think they should go straight into grad school or freelancing or jump around to work up the ladder quickly. That’s usually a terrible idea IMHO.

The time I spent at the bottom of the food chain taught me so much–I learned “how the sausage was made” on managing budgets and accounts, working with different departments, clients, and vendors, handling difficult personalities, and even how to program a dang website myself and the best route to take to make it to the FedEx plane before it took off for the evening.

I would have never picked up those skills in school, skipping up the ladder, or freelancing. I also realized I loved writing more than PR account management in that time. If I had gone quickly to grad school for PR, that would have been a costly mistake.

So, take your time. You’re learning great skills that will serve you well on your very long career path. There’s no sense in rushing it. 


LuAnn Glowacz