When was the last time you did something to help a colleague look good? Or went that extra step, not because you had to, but because it was the right thing to do? You might think that it doesn’t matter, and that nobody is watching, but you never know.
As a mentor, I am often asked how I got started in my career, and I’m always happy to share this story. When I was just starting out, I was offered a temporary assignment in midtown Manhattan in the marketing department of CBS/Fox Video, the leader in home video at the time. My supervisor was the creative director, who had great vision for turning graphics and text into marketing collateral but sometimes needed help with organization and structure.
One day, after spending a week preparing for a big presentation, my boss excitedly left the office to catch a cab to the meeting. A second later I realized that in his excitement, he managed to take his briefcase and leave behind the portfolio with our presentation. Without hesitation, I grabbed the portfolio, ran to the elevator and out onto 6th Avenue where he was getting in to a cab. I ran up to the cab door and breathlessly said, “Here! You forgot this!” He thanked me, and said, “As soon as I can I’m going to hire you.” Within two months, I had the job.
So here’s my challenge to you today – find a task to complete that will help someone else be a star.
At the time, I didn’t think I did anything extraordinary. If I hadn’t acted, he would eventually have realized his mistake and brought embarrassment to himself and the department. My boss was surprised that I went the extra step to help, particularly since I wasn’t even an employee on the payroll. To me, all I did was finish the job.
So here’s my challenge to you today – find a task to complete that will help someone else be a star. Go the distance to finish the job and you’ll both be glad you did.
— Joan Dickinson, MA ‘12
Making educated career decisions can be difficult at any stage of career development. The ASK (Alumni Sharing Knowledge) Blog is intended for Stony Brook University students and alumni to learn career knowledge and get advice from experienced alumni, working in various career fields, about lessons learned from their career experiences.