Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Be Right #5: Admiration for Ambition

I had the great fortune to work with an amazing young woman yesterday named Madi. I often get asked by students if they can come and work with me for a day. I tell them to call me and very rarely do they follow-up and when given the opportunity they often don't show up. It is annoying! At that age, my friends and I worked for free-ALL THE TIME! We sometimes had two internships at the same time and were paid nothing. That is how you learn- you intern, you volunteer, you ask to work with people and interview people just for experience.

But then there was Madi, she did show up and she did work for free. All day! She worked willingly and offered to do things. She was interested and engaged. On top of it all, she was adorable and fun to be around. I greatly admire Madi's ambition and her enthusiasm. It helped remind me why I love my job and to look at my work with a new fresh perspective that sometimes you forget after doing the same thing for years, even decades! It is great to look at your industry through new eyes and see people who are excited to be a part of it.

It is easy to think kids in school these days feel entitled. You hear it time and time again from companies that have to hire staff just to deal with the entitlement issues of its new hires. Many young people would not dream of working for free, not even for a day. Many don't feel like they have anything to learn about real work experience. Where does this entitlement come from? Are all of us starting to feel entitled to things at our jobs?

But I want to thank Madi. Thank you for being ambitious, thank you for being a great example to everyone else out there. Someone is going to be very lucky to have you working for them someday!

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