I have progressed from the intern who knew nothing to the intern who now knows a little bit.
Well, that is to say that I went from the intern who knew nothing about Chicago to the one who now knows a little bit more about how to get around when out and about for the company.
I got lost. Like, pretty super lost. On foot. With a dead phone. And a handwritten map. In an area of the city where English is so obviously not the first language. That’s how lost I was.
What’s interesting though is that when you’re at a creative standstill, getting lost is sometimes the exact thing that you need to happen. I had been slightly creatively stunted in expanding ideas for NPK. It’s the worst when you have so many good ones that you think could yield phenomenal results, but then feel like they’re going nowhere. I needed to clear my head – what better way to do so than to get lost? I needed a change in my mindset – a clearing of the cloudiness that was inhibiting me.
After spending the day with Eric, one of NPK’s service technicians, I headed back to the office with a dead phone and the handwritten map Eric, luckily, was able to draw me so I could find my way via the train and short walk.
I was feeling stressed thinking of all the things I needed to figure out on my to do list. I was feeling very uncreative. I had finished all of the bios, I had begun to research surveys, I had blog ideas all over the place… but I didn’t feel any progress. And for all of my new campaign ideas, I felt like I didn’t even know where to start.
I got lost. Even with Eric’s map, I still managed to get confused and took the wrong path. I walked under the entrance for Chinatown, sure that I was near the office. Miles walked later and at the end of the Chinatown well… town – I knew I had gone the wrong way. After some assistance from a helpful couple, I turned around and finally found the right path.
As I walked… and I walked… I noticed a lot around me. I started to clear my head about feeling in a rut about where my projects were going. I had to see that even when my projects aren’t fully formed, when I’m a little lost on where to take them, I need to recall what I’ve accomplished and be proud, then apply that to my current mindset. I needed to get outside and see that I have 20 blog ideas, immense potential for connections with a new marketing idea, and that the only way to get the projects off and running was to do just that – do them.
I’m pretty fortunate that I work in a small business where I’m able to hear feedback from just about everyone who is employed with the company. The ability to easily communicate ideas and have others tell you what they like/don’t like gives you such an advantage on what project to do next. I like that I know at any given time how my ideas are being received.
I have a whole new list of tasks to accomplish and current projects to keep up with, but after my time away I feel like I have found the way I want to progress. I got lost, yes, but if I stay on the direction I started with, I’ll get to where I want to go.
And you can help me, too! Take the poll below to help me on my new project: writing for the NPK website’s blog!