Right now, I’m working with many different companies/brands/people, and I’ve been thinking a lot about my responsibility to their brand. Each organization I work with is very different, so I find myself shifting from ideas involving post-partisanism to alternative education to media production. With each shift of my mind, I am reminded that I am accountable for how I market each brand to their respective audiences.
I attended a professional development in media literacy today. This was my second time attending this specific PD as an assistant, but I had a completely different perspective. After spending a month away from home and becoming more involved with Max Borders and Social Evolution, I’ve learned a lot about marketing and association. As an intern, a marketing intern especially, I have a responsibility to those that I represent. I’m interested in spreading the ideas found in The Social Singularity, but I have to be careful with my communication, outreach, and broadcasting. Any widespread misinterpretation of a message due to an error or overlook on my part could spell disaster.
I collected a list for Max the other day and sent it over to him. He turned down about 11 out of 50 of the “ideas” I sent him, which is not a bad margin. However, I immediately assumed that I hadn’t done a good enough job. I had given him a visual representation of what I associated with his brand and book. The ideas I sent to him had not been vetted or researched very well. In fact, they were really just meant to be suggestions that I intended for him to narrow down. So why did I still get upset over it? Because I still think that being perfect is the only way to add value to an organization.
This is an interns dilemma. I would want nothing more than to be hired as a full-time employee on Max’s team, to drop out of school and pursue some crazy, innovative life where I’m not defined by a degree. However, this feels far away and sometimes impossible. It may be that I never actually work for a salary or any form of compensation with Social Evolution. I didn’t offer to help because I thought I would be paid for it, I offered to help because I believe in the messages Max wrote about. However, as an intern, I think you always hope that you’re valuable enough to be asked to stay.
Regardless of this, I know that I have added some kind of value to this effort. Even though it may not be to the extent I had hoped for, I am still reaching for that excellence every day. Right now, it is important for me to focus less on perfection and more on delivery. As I continue to work with brands and understand my responsibility to them, I will see time and time again that the way owners view their brand and want it to be marketed is all that matters. Even if I think some of those ideas would fit well, I have absolutely no right to believe that my reasoning is above Max’s. It is my responsibility to offer him work, ask for his judgment, and use it to adjust what I am doing.
The intern’s dilemma is being stuck in limbo. You think you’re working hard, you’re really hoping for a job, you’re probably worried that you don’t know what you’re doing, but you continue to go to work every day and put in 110%. It’s ok if your 110% is better than it was yesterday, that’s called progress. Don’t beat up your past self because they didn’t receive the same lessons as your present self.