Change is a hard thing for many people, especially when you are having to learn something new. When a person steps out of their shell and makes themselves vulnerable, they are able to grow over time and become better than they were before. This past summer I had an internship in which I was exposed to a lot of change, and at first it was very uncomfortable. It didn’t go unnoticed, for soon after starting my boss gave me advice that has helped shape me into a better person today.
Hitting the Ground Running
It was the fourth day of work, and I had been expected to hit the ground running. I was working at a marketing and branding agency in Atlanta called Syrup Marketing, and although the office had the relaxed start-up culture, the intern program was very vigorous. We we’re expected to be there first and go home last, always being expected to finish the massive amount of work they gave us. I was soon finding myself run down and stressed out, for I had never been in a work setting this intense.
My boss randomly met with the interns, and he soon called me in his office. He told me that he could tell how stressed I was, and that I was making it harder on myself. He said “This summer is going to make you uncomfortable, it’s going to tire you out, and it’s going to make you question it all. But that’s what you need to truly learn the skills to be successful”. I spent the summer thinking about what he said and trying to work on my skills, and over time I began to improve which made the job more and more manageable.
Pulling Myself Up by the Boots.
I believe that the first week of the job was exactly what I needed. I lacked skills in time management, and had never taken on a role with as much responsibility as this one. I felt as though this internship was the first stepping stone into my adult career, and I was going to learn as much as I could that would help me improve my everyday life.
Being so overwhelmed with so many tasks was causing me to fall behind on my work immediately. After my boss spoke to me, I began to look up tricks on staying organized. I realized that I had never really kept an agenda, and that I had missed many assignments over the years because I just forgot about them. There was no way that I was going to survive one week, let alone a full summer, without getting organized with an agenda.
I immediately went out and got an organizer. I started to create timelines and deadlines in the pages, and seeing it all mapped out made me feel like I had a better grip on things. Trying to organize everything in my head all of the time was making me lose track, and my new organizer was a way to stay grounded with my work.
Another problem that I was experiencing was that I had never truly been expected to produce perfect work. In school, a B was ok. If I had done mediocre work, it would get by. The first week, I soon realized that any mistakes would cost them money and me my job, and that caused a lot of stress.
My boss’ advice was simple; double check your work. Instead of breezing through it, go back and make sure you are proud of it. I soon started to notice mistakes that I hadn’t seen the first time, and my mistakes seemed to disappear. I learned to take pride in my work, and to take the time to go back and double check it.
Wrapping up the Summer
To sum it up, that week and conversation kicked off my goal to increase discipline. I believe it is what I lacked most, and until then, I was blind to it. I was uncomfortable, unsure, and unhappy that first week of work. But soon, I learned to do my job well and to manage my time, and the days got easier and easier. I hope to keep improving that area of my life and make discipline the center of my actions.