It starts when you’re in school.
Don’t gossip or rake anyone over the coals, be it fellow students, professors or colleagues. This program has little ears. That professor you’re talking shit about today? Tomorrow, your career could be in their hands with one click of a mouse or pen stroke. Treat them with respect.
Pay attention to posts like these:
Don’t just click the “like” button. Act.
Don’t make any fucking excuses. Shut your mouth, and silently own up to being lazy, unprepared, or a combination of both. Do better next time.
Intern early, and often.
You’ll gain valuable experience from actually putting your hands into the fire. You will get burned a few times. Many times. You will feel unprepared and scared. Your first day, your ass will stick to the seat from fear sweat. That’s OK. Push outside of your comfort zone. “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” applies to you, too.
Photo by Jessica Saggio
Write for the school paper. Even better, work for the school paper.
You will never forget your first byline. God, it’s like seeing your name up in lights.
You will disagree and you will call a sergeant a corporal in a headline and there will be names spelled wrong and maybe even your own name spelled wrong. You will make mistakes. Typos will sneak through and you will print corrections. You will apologize. Forgive and be forgiven.
Write all the time, even when it hurts and you don’t want to.
Apply for jobs before you graduate. Cry a lot. Pray a lot. Get hired. Dance around the kitchen holding a grumpy cat.
The day you walk across that stage, your eyes will prick with tears and you’ll wish you could go back and do it all over again.