“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
― Albert Einstein
I thought I knew what I was good at: speaking, social media and writing. Then, I got to Spitfire and realized that I’m not good at anything.
I’m not trying to degrade myself. On the contrary, I am still the confident outgoing person I was three weeks ago. But being here, surrounded by professionals, I cannot help but notice the room for personal growth.
My second week here, I was asked to write a press release for a client. Despite my excitement over being trusted to handle a real assignment so soon, I was slightly nervous about having to submit work to be critiqued for the first time. In the end, I wrote it, they loved it, and everything was looking great. This was the beginning of what I thought would be a smooth sailing summer.
Then I was asked to help draft tweets, something which seemed like an easy task given my active presence on my personal twitter account – until I failed miserably. Thankfully, Darwin, a colleague, was willing to sit down with me and show me how to improve my drafts. By the end of our conversation, I had a better understanding of the differences between tweeting for an organization and tweeting for myself – only after a mini, dramatic but light-hearted twitter thread.
By the end of that week, I had developed countless skills and learned a lot. But the lesson that stuck out the most was that I have a long way to go. Certainly, there will be many more ups and downs at Spitfire. Yet, I look forward to the failures more than the successes because those are where I’ll grow the most. At Spitfire, I feel safe failing. There’s a sense of security knowing that there are people around me who push me to be independent and take on new tasks, but are also there if and when I inevitably need help.
The people in this office have my back and genuinely want me to succeed. They are taking the time to not only edit my writing but sit down and talk through critiques. I’ve gotten feedback on my resume and an op-ed, pointers on how to manage a social media account, and the opportunity to help create graphics for twitter ads. They even let me publish a blogpost about messaging on our website.
On another note, when we are not having District Taco catered in, or leaving the office to protest the Supreme Court decision on the Muslim Ban, we’re juggling a wide variety of clients while still managing to put out a blog post about little ole me. Although I’m here to gain skills and exposure in the field of strategic communications, I cannot overlook how these accomplished professionals are making me feel like a valued team member and taking the time to help me get to their level. And when I do, I want to be just as gracious to the next generation of innovative communicators as they have been to me. In the meantime, I’ll keep absorbing all the knowledge and experiences surrounding me, in hopes of one day paying it forward.
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” — Maya Angelou