When taking on a new venture, one of my only hopes is not to do anything to get on my boss or supervisor’s bad side. In fact, I try hard to be as understanding, submissive and helpful as possible. Not by kissing up – never that – but by completing all tasks above their expectations, and before they are due. While there are a multitude of methods I utilize, I will focus on this one, because this time, I failed.
The first time I didn’t do something right in the eyes of a supervisor was senior year of high school. I worked at a prom dress store, and my boss pulled me aside to say that I wasn’t doing my job right. Either out frustration that I wasn’t doing right, that I was overwhelmed emotionally because of stress from school, that I didn’t want to let my boss down and look bad, or all three, I broke down in tears. I knew I was a hardworking, driven individual, and I didn’t want to be viewed as the girl who couldn’t get her work done. Disappointing others is never something that feels good to me. Letting valuable people down is my pet peeve, and is why I am so critical of everything I do when someone else asks me to do something.
Since then, I’ve toughened up. I still get upset when I disappoint others, but mostly, I feel demeaned when my work is not up to par. Not demeaned in the typical, negative aspect, but as a positive motivator. At my internship this summer, we were given a seemingly cool assignment that turned out to be dreadful. Because of my team’s outlook on the task, we did not complete it by the deadline. I felt bad about letting down my supervisors who continued to push back the deadline, but who wants to do work they agonize about completing? Yes, we could have told ourselves “let’s push through it and get it done!”, but that didn’t help. We finally got it completed on the last day of the internship.
This taught me that work may not always be 100% enjoyable, but there will come tasks that have to be done whether you like it or not. At my high school job, I wanted to be seen as the stellar employee, but now I’m focused on what I learn from my work experiences; the substance I can see and benefit from; the difference it will make in the lives of others. Those are my motivators for getting work done, and I will apply that knowledge gained from that experience as I venture into my next stage of life.