Thursday, August 4, 2011

How To Impress The Hell Out Of Your Bosses—And Become One

So I got a lovely little surprise this week, Edsters, and let me tell you, it feels WONDERFUL to be recognized at the mag. I've been working hard and trying to remember all the little details I overhear in the office--like which editors prefer e-mails and which want in-person conversations, which are too busy to be bothered this week and which have time to play with hand puppets. While I feel like I've just been keeping my head down and doing the best work I can with assigned tasks, I must be doing something else right.

I'm standing in for my boss tomorrow.

Yeah, I couldn't believe it, either, but this is how it happened: My direct boss is out of town for a few days, so a freelancer who often fills in has been overseeing me and the other interns. However, she cannot come in to work tomorrow, and that leaves us boss-less. Now, that's not the end of the world. For one day, we could cope with the production schedule and tasks we know need to be completed. However, another person in the office was in quite a panic that he would have no one to consult for project progress and any other discussions/questions that arise during the boss-less day. He was so concerned, in fact, that he addressed HIS boss to see if the issue could be resolved. That discussion was shared with the BOSS, the concerned MAN, and the FREELANCE girl who was in the office that day.

While the conversation was rapid-fire, mostly monopolized by the MAN panicking, the BOSS wasn't so concerned. In fact, he said, "So it'll just be the interns tomorrow?" With a slight nod from all of us, he shrugged unconcerned and motioned toward me. "She's the boss. She knows everything anyway; I have faith in her."

I swooned. I'm pretty sure that was the single most flattering achievement of my spell at the men's magazine so far. I'm excited to be freelancing and workout outside the mag, but it's just an incredible feeling to know that I'm standing an editor...of a national magazine who is so busy he can't e-mail everyone he needs to, but who found the time to let me know I'm doing a good job with the department.

I'm gaining a whole new appreciation for the little, seemingly obvious, facts of life, Edsters. Truths like "always try your hardest" and "humility is never overrated" are bits I've heard throughout my entire life, but they mean so much more to me now.

If you can not only complete the tasks your bosses assign to you, but figure out ways to do them more efficiently or in a more organized manner, you'll stand out among your fellow interns. One of the tasks my bosses have mentioned they've appreciated most happened out of pure boredom--it was a slow day at the mag, so I went through a mass of Web copy before we posted it, and I found a number of copy editing oversights. When my boss wasn't busy, I pointed them out, and we ended up implementing a new step in the Web posting process because of it.

You can do it, Edsters. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s happening—because I surely didn’t realize it was—you can stand out and prove you deserve the job they hired you for. You can take on more work than the sometimes-menial intern work, and you can start establishing yourself in the magazine industry before you even graduate. That’s my hope—that someone will remember my name after this summer. I’m feeling very inspired as of late, and I can’t wait for the perfect outlet of this pent-up creativity.

Fingers crossed for me and you! Let’s do more than we ever thought we could. How have your internships (or treks toward them) been going? Anything so exciting or incredibly stressful that you just have to share?? Let's hear it!

For now,
Ed's Web Intern

1 comment:

  1. That's amazing!!! I would be so psyched if that happened. Congrats!! I've gotten some great appraisal from my boss lately, but none as self-assuring as that. This was so inspiring to read.