Jan 29, 2018

10 Lessons After 3 Months

As a counterpart to Kathya’s 25 Lessons After 3 Years, I was inspired by my upcoming 90-day review to reflect on what my first three months at Conveyor have taught me.

  1. Time FLIES. It’s easy to get lost in the immediacy of the next client project, and it’s important for both you and your team to stop, take a step back, and really examine where you’ve come from and where you’re going. Looking back and taking stock can be just as valuable as the best laid plans.
  2. Make your own priorities. Speaking of plans, three months have passed in the blink of an eye (see #1) and I haven’t acted on half of the plans I’d dreamt up when I started here. In an agency as bustling as Conveyor, it’s up to each of us to carve out time for the passion projects and individual endeavors that will help us (and the business) grow.
  3. Know the value of an hour. At Conveyor, we track every working minute. Initially this seemed like a hassle, but three months in I’m starting to get it: knowing how you spend your time helps you spend it better. It brings an intentionality to the day that makes your work feel tangible and quantifiable — and your breaks well-deserved.
  4. Ask for help when you need it. Getting something done right is rarely a one-person job. When the scale or skillset of a project is beyond you, be humble and ask for help, or you’ll just be generating more work for yourself and your team. On that note:
  5. Trust your experts. Maybe someone on your team has a razor-sharp editing eye. Or is an ace presenter in a pinch. Leveraging the skills of your team isn’t a knock on your abilities — if anything, it takes a thorough understanding of both yourself and your colleagues to know when to call in the specialists. Which reminds me of one more team-related lesson:
  6. Don’t be afraid to lean on your team. Whether you need a break or a beer or a belly laugh, a quality team will understand and have your back. After all, you’d do the same for them, right?
  7. Keep snacks close at hand. Speaking of moral support, we’re lucky to have a modest pantry stocked with trail mix, granola bars and bubbly beverages. These snacks are lifesavers come crunch-time — working through lunch or staying late is a lot easier when you’re well fueled.
  8. Love the work. The first project I handed to my manager for client review was met with a question: “Do you love it?” This came as a surprise, but it shouldn’t have. There’s an expectation here that you love what you do. If not, why do it? Moreover, if there’s nobody on your team who loves the work, chances are the client won’t, either.
  9. Never stop learning. While this might be a no-brainer, my time with Conveyor has thrown this lesson into the spotlight. Content strategy is new to me. Since I started with Conveyor, I’ve dug into books and blogs and podcasts in an effort to get better acquainted with this strategic cousin of copywriting. As a result, I’ve gained new tools and new insights into the way I approach my profession — and my personal development.
  10. Write down your goals and reference them often. Chief among these aforementioned findings was this article. Just read it. It’s good. I promise. And it lays the foundation for my next 90, 180, and 270 days with Conveyor. Here’s to taking the next step.