The Importance of Grunt Work

As recent college graduates enter the workplace, it made us think back to that first job.

After the extensive and exhausting hiring process, it’s a rude awakening to realize a large portion of your job involves some type of “grunt” work. You know, the work no one wants to do because it’s boring and sometimes mindless –the coffee getters, the copy makers, the office organizers and yes, the grocery shoppers. A step above those are: the researchers, media list builders, calendar coordinators and brief creators.

This work is what most entry-level marketing and public relations professionals look forward to upon their hire. It might not bring any fame or glory, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t important.

For example, how do you think a story is pitched to the media? Do you think every media contact who receives a press release immediately goes, “Yes! Tampons! This is exactly what I want to write about.” Of course not! Some entry-level person researched that reporter, stalking them more or less, to figure out if that particular journalist would be the one to cover their product. The same person may even help write the release and schedule the pitch, but no one, other than their direct supervisor, will ever know because their name isn’t on the release.

Imagine an office without coffee or food. (Oh the horror!) There would be grumpy, caffeine-deprived, hungry fools everywhere. Who gets the coffee and snacks? Do you think it is the CEO? In most companies, it’s the newest member on the team or the youngest. Companies thrive because of those who do the grunt work.

So here’s to you, grunt worker. You are important. Just remember, in public relations and marketing (and probably all other professional realms) you work your way to the top.  Don’t fret. Eventually, you’ll move on up and some youth fresh from college will take over and you will no longer be the lowest on the totem pole.