Living life is an adventure in itself, and through humour, pictures and general ranting, I’ll share this adventure with you. I’m home. Have you ever taken a moment to reflect? Reflect on how you got to where you are right now. Sometimes … Continue reading
I’m not a big-time account executive, or even a paid employee (yet), but I have learned a few things as an unpaid intern that I’d like to share with all of you career searching, twenty-somethings reading this.
This is also referred to as networking in the corporate world. The truth is, it’s hard (and nearly impossible) to get your foot in the door at your dream job without a little bit of help. Reach-out to friends, family members & acquaintances. Everyone has networked at some point or another to achieve a goal, so you’d be surprised how many people are willing to lend a hand. It can be as simple as forwarding your resume internally to setting up an informational interview with an industry leader — every little bit helps. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or you won’t make it very far. And remember, the time will come when you can return the favour.
The truth is that no matter how much schooling you have, you still have a lot to learn. So, be prepared to be overwhelmed with information when you start a new career. The truth is, if you’ve been hired (paid or not), your superiors aren’t expecting you to know everything right away, but they are expecting you to give-it-your-all to learn.
Don’t be afraid to fail, because the truth is: it will happen. But, that’s a part of learning. You’re not perfect, and your superiors aren’t expecting you to get everything right on your first try. What they want to see is that you accept criticism and learn from it.
It can be really intimidating sitting in on meetings with my superiors. I sometimes find myself thinking “there is no way I’ll ever be able to formulate an idea like she just did”, as my boss sits in a creative meeting and magically comes up with a plan of action in less than 10 minutes. You will also find yourself feeling intimidated at times, but just remember: your boss didn’t start off this awesome. Chances are they began where you are right now, and through learning, failure and success they have gotten to where they are now.
Don’t think about how you are going to get to where you want to be tomorrow, but rather think about how you got to where you are today. When I began serving I was awkward, forgot my tables’ orders, couldn’t memorize a simple drink order, and was never asked to close down the restaurant for the night. Five years later I was able to memorize multiple orders, joke with my tables, confidently make a drink behind the bar and was offered the opportunity to manage my own restaurant. I never imagined I would one day have that ability, but it happened.
I sometimes shake my head when I think of maybe one day being an account executive. But, then I reflect back on the amount I’ve learned in these short few months, and I know that one day, I will get there.
In March of 2012, I booked a one-way flight to Europe.
I didn’t have money. I didn’t have a plan. I literally had no idea how I was going to survive for 3 months in Europe, by myself.
But, I made it happen. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have I focused on what I wanted and everything worked out.
Lately, whenever I think of what it is I might want to do when my internship is over, I find myself thinking of what currently limits me from doing it.
This is something we all do. You say to yourself “I would really love to go away to Costa Rica for a few weeks” and then automatically your brain begins to list off all the reasons why you haven’t booked that flight: it will take a long time to save the money; what if you can’t get the time off work?; who would you go with? And then, a year or two goes by, and you still haven’t gone to Costa Rica, let alone gotten any closer to overcoming the factors that were limiting you before.
So, I decided to ask myself a simple question:
What would you do with your life if there were no limits?
- Move out of my basement apartment to one above ground
- Stop waitressing
- Find work with a non-profit organization
- Live in a different country
- Live a relaxed lifestyle
- Spend part of my life living on a beach
- Go back to Costa Rica
- Meet-up with Sherry while she is in South America.
- Do Yoga daily
Some of the items on my list seem fairly attainable. For instance, I know that I want to stop waitressing, and I am currently working very hard (at an unpaid Internship) to get out of the industry.
But then when I think of other things, such as traveling to see Sherry, there is a voice in my head saying “you don’t have the money”.
It’s true. I don’t have the money, yet.
It’s a very simple formula, one which we have all read in self-help books, or learned by watching The Secret.
The Universe is always listening. If you say “I will never be be able to save $10,000 in 6 months”, the Universe will grant that truth. But, if you say “I will save $10,000 in 6 months”, you will be 10k richer 1/2 a year from now. Call it the Universe or a self-fulfilling prophecy — call it whatever you like.
The fact is that you can achieve whatever you want! You are the only person standing in your way, imagining limitations in your mind.
So, ask yourself: What would you do with your life if there were no limits?