When I embarked on this month-long journey, I had an idea of what I was going to do each week. This week, after a few weeks at my internship, I decided this segment of my 30-day challenge would be about pushing myself in the office. I figured I had to incorporate my challenge with my office experience because, after all, it is the reason I moved to Denver.
But even though my moves may be premeditated, there’s still a moment of truth when I’m faced with a situation, where I think, “Am I going to take the leap and do it—or not?” Thanks to this challenge, though, I haven’t allowed myself to say, "No, maybe next week” even once. And it’s paid off, big time.
Monday: A Worthwhile Chat
I had a quick turnaround with a piece I was working on last week. I emailed my edits to my editor, Lindsey, on Friday morning and she planned to send them to the deputy editor on Monday. Unfortunately, Lindsey and I weren’t able to go over the edits in person. But because this was my week to push myself in the office, I decided to go talk to her.
Peeking around the cubicle wall, I asked if she had a few moments to chat. Now that she had seen my writing style, I wanted to know if she had any comments or suggestions for me. She was very nice and explained some of her changes to my piece. I was able to get a real feel for what she felt of my work, and—added bonus—she thanked me for stopping by. I was thankful for the constructive criticism and her compliments. Plus, some intern-brownie points never hurt.
Wednesday: Lunch Date for Two Foodies
In my dream world, I’m a food writer. There’s a food intern at the magazine who went to culinary school—something I’ve always been interested in—so I asked her to get lunch to talk about her experiences. I knew it was going to be a fabulous lunch when she suggested pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup). While we ate, I listened to her story and how she’s applying her experience now at her new position. It helped me get a better feel for whether that career path would be a good fit for me. I was proud of myself for getting to know people in the office who could be good resources.
Thursday: The New Girl
Last week, I pitched a story about a new yoga studio that was opening. But the web editor I pitched it to left on maternity leave this week. She emailed me to say she had passed my idea on to her new replacement. I saw the new girl in the office, but she seemed really busy and I didn't want to be a bother. But on Thursday, when she was sitting at her desk, I decided to seize the moment.
I walked to her desk, introduced myself and said, “I know you’re super busy, but I pitched an event that is this Saturday and was wondering if you could take a quick look at it. I don’t want to miss an opportunity.” The new web editor was more than happy to help out and she immediately found my email with the pitch. She decided to pass on that event, but she liked another one of my other pitches better. Now she knows who I am, and I got a potential story. Win-win.
Friday: Dreaded Emails
Since I started, I’ve been meaning to ask a few editors to coffee, but I just haven't done it. This week of my challenge made me take that step, though, and I emailed three for coffee dates. The first one I asked is the food editor, and I plan on talking to her about her history and the path she took. The second editor I asked is my mentor, Maximillian Potter. He’s currently in France, working, so I’ll have to wait on that chat. But I emailed him just to touch base. The last editor I emailed was the features editor, so we could discuss how to pitch stories and freelance. It’s amazing how great it felt when I hit the send button.
This week was awesome. Every task I set out to complete left me walking out of the office with a smile. Pushing myself in the office was incredibly rewarding, and if I can offer one bit of advice from this week, it’s this: Talk to, learn about, and meet with your co-workers. You’ll learn a lot, and you’ll be seen around the office quite a bit, too.
Kelsey Colt is the writer behind the blog The Pilot's Daughter. She also pens a food column in the Island Eye News called Lowcountry Bites and keeps herself busy freelancing for a variety of online blogs. As an aspiring food writer, she can constantly be found cooking, eating and trying new foods. Currently she is about to make a big move from Charleston to Denver to begin working at 5280 magazine. For recipes and travel advice visit her blog: the-pilots-daughter.com.More from this Author