The random ramblings of Matt Wagner. A Web Designer and Developer from Bloomington, Indiana.
Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.
Charles R. Swindoll, b.1934
I recently had a conversation with a few people regarding a student finding an internship. The argument was made that the student was inexperienced and was, therefore, unable to break into the industry. That last statement is what sets me off about this argument and what altogether proves it to be incorrect. I’d like to discuss my thoughts on the matter and hear a response. I ask only two things from whoever is reading this post. The first being that you read it in its entirety with an open mind and the second that you respond to your thoughts on the subject.
I believe there is a reason why the term is tagged “break” into the industry. This isn’t an easy task and is labeled as such. Someone must, quite literally, break into the industry. You have to force your way in by means of hard work and dedication. Without hard work you will not be recognized as a formidable acquisition for a company and when it gets right down to it, that is the goal. A company doesn’t hire someone, because they need to fill a position. A company hires an individual because they believe it is the best move for the company.
It is for this reason that an individual must force their way into the company. You have to let them know that you are worth their time. Unfortunately in this case and in most industries, this is the difficult part. The company bases their knowledge of you on what a piece of paper says about you. In my industry (web development), this is far easier. We have portfolio websites that we can build and direct a company to so that they can literally see our abilities. They can then make a more accurate decision on what is best for their company.
Confidence! Students lack confidence, because they feel amateur. They don’t have adequate experience for an opportunity. They don’t have all of the skills on an opening announcement. This is a direct result of the people who are around these students and teach them. Some schools do a very good job of encouraging their students and telling them that they are doing great work. These students are looking at the work of professionals and are comparing their own work to these professionals who have been doing the same type of work for far longer.
This isn’t fair to the students! It’s a necessity for a student to have role model in the industry or someone that they aspire to match or best in skill. It is not, however, a necessity for that student to think that the work they do must be comparable to the work of their role models.
“Nobody tells people who are beginners, and I really, really wish somebody had told this to me… is that all of us who do creative work, like y’know we get into it and we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap that the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what your making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, y’know what I mean?”
“A lot of people never get past that phase and a lot of people at that point they quit. And the thing I would just like to say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. It didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have and the thing what to do is everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase you’ve gotta know it’s totally normal and the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work. Do a huge volume of work.”
“Put yourself on a deadline so that every week or every month you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap. And your work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. In my case, like I took longer to figure out how to do this than anybody I’ve ever met. It takes awhile. It’s going to take you awhile. It’s normal to take you awhile and you just have to fight your way through that. Ok?”
I find in life that most affairs that require serious handling are distasteful.
For this reason, I have always believed that the successful man has the hardest battle with himself rather than with the other fellow.
To bring one’s self to a frame of mind & to the proper energy to accomplish things that require plain hard work continuously is the one big battle that everyone has. When this battle is won for all time, then everything is easy.
- Thomas A. Buckner