When I was first hired as the TV Creative/Production Co-op for an online furniture e-retailer in Boston, I was excited to begin exploring the field I had always dreamed of working in. Up until this point I had always wanted to work in TV but did not think I had the qualifications or academic background needed to make a career in it, so I never tried to pursue it. As graduation approached, I realized that if I really wanted to work in the field that I needed to put aside whatever reservations I had and go for it. I ended up applying for the position and thankfully things turned out well for me; in fact, they offered me the position only a few hours after I interviewed for it.
During my first few weeks of work I was completely amazed and overwhelmed by the world of TV and everything that went along with it. I found myself working on elements of production I never knew existed and I struggled to navigate through everything that needed to be done to keep things running. My dream job turned into my biggest nightmare and my confidence quickly crumbled as I continued to drop the ball on a variety of projects and create added work for the people around me. To put it bluntly: I was the loser fucking everything up.
By the end of my first month I felt incredibly defeated. I believed my coworkers resented me, thought that I wasn’t cut out for the position, and felt that I needed to give up on my dreams and accept my limitations. But then one day my boss sat me down and told me that she hired me for a reason. She reminded me of all my great qualities and said that my performance in the office would not improve until I let go of the mistakes I had made. Following the pep talk I started to accept my mistakes, and instead of fixating on them I used them as a blueprint to better approach similar issues in the future. More importantly, I told myself that mistakes are inevitable, growing pains are inescapable, and that as long as I took ownership of my actions and proactively tried to solve my problems that things would be okay for me in the long run.
I’ve learned so many things from the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve learned that organization is 95% of the battle and that if you prioritize tasks efficiently you can tackle a variety of projects without ending up a confused mess. I discovered that sometimes the things you don’t want to do are the things you need to do. For example, I hate talking on the phone, in fact; I wish I could communicate with other people solely through email. But the fact is- talking on the phone saves SO MUCH time and is way more efficient, so while it may be something that makes me feel uncomfortable it’s in my best interest to put my personal feelings aside and just get it done. The most valuable lesson I have learned, however, is that you have to believe in yourself and your work. Mistakes are inevitable, but for the love of God, don’t let the fear of being wrong slow you done. Always act more important than you actually are, especially when talking to outside vendors; if you make yourself seem inferior you will be treated as such. And always come in with an “I’m going to do great today” attitude and remind yourself that even if things go bad there will always be an opportunity to do better tomorrow.
I finish my job in about three weeks and to be completely honest, I’m bummed. I finally feel like I’m excelling and with each and every day I get better at my job, but all good things must come to an end and I’m certain that the skills I have learned in this office will help me greatly in the future. When I first started this position I was Connor, the mute and aloof intern with zero self-esteem. Now I’m Con Con, the extremely weird (hopefully funny) intern who believes he can succeed. I may have had a rocky start, but I’ve improved every day and I think I am ending on a high note. So with that being said, I want to conclude this article with a piece of advice: Always remember that you can only be as valuable as you allow yourself to be…also- bring in cookies to work if you want to be liked. Baked goods are the way to people’s hearts.