6 Things I learned this Summer
I was tagged by friends on facebook and instagram to do the "20 things about me" post. But honestly, out of the 596 followers that I have on instagram, probably only 3 people (my sister, my boyfriend and maybe 1 or 2 good friends) would read it. So I decided to share something that might add a little more value to your time.
This summer I got the privilege to intern at one of the world's largest retail company, LBrands. LBrands is a fortune 500 company that owns Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, Henri Bendel as well as La Senza. This company was started by a man named Les Wexner, a man who has completely revolutionized the retail clothing world. LBrands also used to own Abercrombie, The Limited, Justice, and many other retail stores before finally selling them off. I interned at their Enterprise Accounting department, where I got to meet great people who always shared a piece of their wisdom with me from time to time. During my short 10 week internship I learned some eye-opening things that really changed my perspective about life. I hope these lessons would impact you as much as they have impacted me!
1. Don't burn your bridges
Truth is, we might not always like the people that we work with, go to school with, or even live with (I said "we" because I know that I also don't always like the people I interact with! Trust me, its not just you) But its really in our best interest to keep a good relationship with everyone that comes our way. Ten years down the road you might find yourself meeting the same person again. You might meet the professor that you never paid attention to, or the friend that you always ignored. We need to change our attitudes about the relationships that we form because our net worth is determined by our network!
2. Make things happen for yourself
During my 10 weeks I found that sometimes I am left with nothing to do. Everybody was busy and nobody had the time to constantly monitor every movement that I made. After a while I realized that I had to make things happen for myself. If I thought an assignment was too challenging, I had to speak up. If i had nothing to do, I had to ask for more work. It suddenly hit me that the adult world requires independence. Contrary to popular beliefs, Independence is not the ability to do whatever we want; Independence is a state of being mature enough to know that you have responsibilities that must be taken care of.
3. If you feel bored and unchallenged with your work, you're probably not doing enough, you're not utilizing all your resources!
If you're working for a company as big as LBrands, there is no way that you will run out of work. There are so many things that you could do, you just gotta be active and look for those things. Go to another department, help someone else finish their tasks. There's always something to do! Ask and you shall receive! This can be applied to our day to day life as well. It is scientifically impossible to really be bored; there's so much to do in this world! We are provided with resources, entertainments, an unlimited supply of everything. Being bored is not a circumstance problem, its definitely an attitude problem.
4. Every person has a story
I don't know about you, but it's really easy for me to judge people. Sometimes I walk down the hall and I think to myself,"Look at that woman, she never smiles, she must be a grumpy woman!". I do this so many times throughout the day; I make assumptions about other people without knowing whether or not the assumption is true, I judge the book by its cover. But the truth is, everyone has a unique story. Every person has years of experiences that they carry around with them; some more than others. We just gotta be bold enough see beyond what our physical eyes see. If we don't understand someone, spend time with them and try to put ourselves in their shoe and we might just discover a whole new perspective. Ask them out to lunch, but them a cup of coffee or just simply sit down and talk to them. While not all are willing to share (I definitely would not suggest asking every single person out to eat together, be selective and wise when doing so) most people are open to sharing their experiences with us.
5. Does the calendar dictate you or do you dictate your calendar?
Man, this one's a killer! I always overdose myself with activities, and at the end of the day I would complain because I wouldn't have enough time to finish everything. I learned the hard way that it's better to put 100% effort in one thing than 20% effort in 5 things! Choose your activities wisely and say no to the things that you really don't have time for. I am by no means perfect at this, I'm still learning too! But as I learn to focus on things that really matter and as I stopped rushing through life, I was amazed at how much more life I had time for.
6. Feedback is a gift. Soak it all up and be a sponge.
For most normal people, taking feedback is not easy. It takes courage, an open mind and and open heart for someone to really, humbly, take feedback from someone else (especially if this feedback is coming from someone younger than us, or someone who we don't like. Yaiks!) But our inability to take feedback will prevent us from growing in character. Gold that has not been processed through fire remains an regular metal.
I am not claiming that I have mastered all the 6 things that I learned during those 10 short weeks, but I know that I am one step closer to being able to. I'm eternally grateful for the people around me that have invested in me, that have put their time to mentor me and coach me and that have accepted me unconditionally despite my flaws and shortcomings. This is just the beginning of my journey, the journey is uphill but I'm enjoying the view! :)