I just turned 33 (ok, almost a month ago) which is not a major life milestone but birthday’s are always a time for reflection and I wanted to take a moment to journal positive things that I have done so far to help me grow professionally and creatively. Maybe when I’m 66 I can review this post for a solid laugh. Of course, this list doesn’t include getting married to my beautiful and loving wife.
College was one of the best times of my life. It was a fresh start and allowed me to independently explore new ideas and really put my brain in overdrive. I learned that with study, persistence and dedication I CAN do it and was the first time in my life I was able to overcome some of my bashfulness. The high school cliques were over.
Some of the teachings I was subjected to still resonate in my professional career and I made some great friends by participating in extracurricular activities like PRSSA. Of course, I’m also very grateful for my parents who invested in my education.
Part-Time Retail Jobs:
I will be forever grateful for my part-time jobs I held during high school and college – especially my time at Marshall Field’s. There was a lot of slacking off and other “crazy things” that happened at an adolescent time in my life but there was also a lot of adult life skills that I learned from workin’ the wrap stand (check out counter). It taught me little bit about sales and that you work hard for your money but the most important lesson was in interpersonal skills by interacting with others of all ages in various scenarios. How to handle an irate 60-year-old woman because we won’t return her used cookware and how to motivate a 16-year-old to do the right thing and act professionally.
I really got lucky, I took an unpaid internship with a very small agency. My boss had a kind heart but also very hard pressing and this was probably one of the most humbling experiences yet today. I don’t want to get into the details but rather focus on the outcome. After the internship, I accepted a part-time hourly job with the firm and then, eventually salary. About a year into working full-time, my boss left and eventually took me to the job that I would essentially keep for (at least) the next 8 years. Lesson: Sometimes you’ve got to give a little to get a lot.
Desire and Continuous Learning:
I’m a tinkerer. I love to try new things and I don’t care what others think about my work. If they like it, great! If they hate me, whatever. My point is, when I have an idea for a new website, business, app, etc. I do something about it. If that means I need to learn a new skill, then I will take the time to master it enough to get where I’m going. This attitude has helped me master WordPress, Photoshop and other tools that help me create and share. They’re my brush and canvas and I plan to keep painting.