Take a look in the rearview mirror.
Piece by piece, you put the fragmented, haphazard puzzle together.
Random events, good intentions, and hard work paint a picture of your life and make you what you are today.
For the past two and a half months, I’ve interned at Spoon Publishing – Scandinavia’s largest content agency. I’ve surrounded myself with smart people every day, and a few habits and traits have stood out.
In this article, I share three important lessons with you.
1. Keep it real
It takes courage to admit your faults and accept responsibility for your actions.
But guess what? Honesty goes a long way. It builds trust and strengthens relationships. In a global village, your reputation is your most valuable asset.
Want to see what happens when you break that trust? Just look at the Volkswagen emissions scandal and the 2015 FIFA corruption case. Trust takes years to build, but only seconds to destroy. Is the lying worth it?
The irony, of course, is that we hate to show vulnerability and would much rather live up to a false fiction than to face the tunes of reality. For some reason, we deceive ourselves.
The truth is, there is a lot of amazing stuff happening in the real word. The world is full of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They often work in the unknown, and they rarely get credit for their work.
Let’s talk more about them and what they do. Because in the end, reality trumps fiction.
One of the key lessons I have learned at Spoon is the value of being honest and relevant to your audience.
They deserve the best from you.
2. Be useful
On my first day at Spoon, I was surprised by how helpful everyone was. Got a problem? Let me know how I can help!
When you keep it real, it’s only natural to show your strengths and your weaknesses. Being friendly and helpful becomes second nature, because you stop playing a zero-sum game, worried about making mistakes and failing. You think win-win rather than win-lose, and that makes all the difference.
When you decide to be useful, you become valuable for your colleagues, for the company, and for yourself.
As Albert Einstein likes to say:
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
Increase your value by helping others. In the long-term, you will be rewarded for your efforts, sometimes in quite unexpected ways.
3. Be curious
There is always more to learn. Ask questions. Listen carefully. Try it out, and get started.
Curiosity is the fuel that keeps life interesting. It brings teams together and keeps us on our toes. Be both a teacher and a student.
Without curiosity, we fail to adapt. And failure to adapt means decay.
Key takeaways from my Spoon internship
Your life can take many turns. Some are expected, others are less so.
Keep it real, be useful, and feed your curiosity. Focus on building a character that is true to yourself and what you stand for.
People crave authenticity. They long for meaningful conversations and remarkable relationships that matter. Skip the fluff, and get on with the real deal.
I will have to come back in a few years’ time to puzzle the pieces together and see what came about from my ten weeks at Spoon Publishing. For now, all I can do is move forward and enjoy the ride.
Over to you
Did you like this article? Then you’ll want to take a look at my portfolio and read my work samples from Spoon and other projects. I hope you find them useful!
What has your internship or job taught you about life? Don’t keep it to yourself. Share your tips and thoughts in the comment section below.
P.S. A big thanks to Björn Owen Glad for having me as an intern, and to the rest of the Spoon team in Stockholm for their support and encouragement.