Letters to a Young Intern

Dear Young Friend,

Welcome to the workforce. We work in the jungle: in the thick of things, on conference calls, in taxis or in immaculate board rooms. Anywhere and everywhere, is often our office.

Therefore, I wish to share with you a few insights. These do not come from a haughty self-righteous attitude, but a humble account of a lessons learned.

1. Just show up (on time). Be open, and ready for most anything. Say yes to the crappy jobs, build character while doing them, and if nothing else, know that they make great happy-hour stories.

2. Say yes. Yes, I really told you to say yes to the crappy jobs, we’ve all done them! Take time also to learn the difference between just saying no vs. saying no so as to say yes to yourself.

3. Be compassionate and inclusive. Supporting others comes in many forms and being rude, snappy, or needlessly divisive, will fail you. Dealing with difficult people will always be a learning experience- don’t miss out.

4. Be Respectfully Assertive. You will inevitably brush up against moral strife, exhaustion, and petty conflicts in your journey. Stand up for yourself. Address the issue, offer a solution, and move on; but only after you have voiced your concerns.

5. Recharge. Create moments in your day and life at large to find your balance.  Daily prayer, journaling, weekends away, are all opportunities to do this. Set your limitations and honor them. If you don’t know how to find yourself in the midst of chaos, you’ll never be at peace.

6. Find mentors. Be it formal or just those you admire. Reflect on why you look up to them and build strong connections.

7. Know your worth. You have incredible, unique, and undiscovered talents. Find ways to use them. They are inherent tools for your success.

8. Take Risks. Ask questions, take initiative, be vulnerable. Remember, sometimes it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

And finally,

9. Know that you are not for sale.  Take a note from the Financial Guru Suze Orman (while you are at it, check out her book ). Suze says you are not for sale. This means your worth is not set by others, it is set by you. Don’t mistake “free labor” as unworthy of your time. If it helps you work toward your goals, go for it. But when the time comes,don’t be afraid to ask for your worth to be reflected in your compensation. Remain realistic and gracious, regardless of the answer, yet take the time to let others know how you value yourself.

Remember, you are a student for life. Read, reflect and enjoy.  Go forth friend, writing your own story. I look forward to learning from it.

Your fan,


One response

  1. Pingback: Jumble Spoiler – 02/10/12 « Unclerave's Wordy Weblog

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