A couple of days ago, my supervisor reached out to me with a Facebook post that was relevant to my work. He asked me if I thought it would be worth reaching out to the poster, and when I said yes, he requested that I send him a draft for practice. This specific “supervisor” isn’t really my supervisor. He is a very busy person who I just happen to work under, but there are many other people that I usually go to before going to him.
That’s why I was so surprised when he took time out of his day to help me practice my outreach skills. He edited the email I sent him (which I made a really stupid but funny mistake in) and had me send it off. I am a marketing intern for this supervisor, so I really turn to the marketing team for help or advice before I turn to him, but I did initially connect with and get the job through him.
He’s a thoughtful person. Today, I had a phone call with him about some of the tasks I could complete going forward. I’m unpaid right now, so everything I’m offered is optional and pretty low pressure, but I still put 100% into it. Whether or not it eventually turns into a paid position, I’d like to know that I gave the job my all during every stage. While we were talking, he didn’t speak to me as though I was an intern. He understood that a lot of what he suggested I take on as work was unfamiliar to me and that I wouldn’t be going at it alone. However, he also didn’t hold back from offering me opportunities because of my lack of experience. It was clear that he didn’t see me as incapable of catching on quickly.
When I think about him in relation to some of the other supervisors I’ve had, it strikes me how straightforward and communicative he is. The project I’m working on with him is only starting to get going, but he had done his absolute best to give me jobs even while things were slow. When I compare this to my previous supervisors who had a hard time seeing past my age, I realize how grateful I am to be working in a sphere of people who are genuine and want to give me opportunities. As long as I continue to follow through on what I promise, my age is beside the point. To this group, it’s all about showing up and getting your shit done.
I appreciate that. Being thrown into a complicated world but still being viewed as a semi-child is difficult to be ok with. I’d much rather prove my ability and move onto being treated as a valuable worker with skills that can benefit my employers (or supervisors) mission. I do have a lot of learning to do, I admit, but the team I work with is aware of that and ok with it. I don’t claim to be more capable than I am. I aim to remain humble and keep my ears open as I continue to work with a spectacular set of people.