Lucky Number 13
Feb 16, 2017
Today I will celebrate 13 years as a Centerliner.
Thirteen years, well, it’s a LONG time. To put that in perspective, I started working here before the first iPhone launch, before Twitter, and when Centerline was still shooting on film!
I started my career at Centerline as our office manager, working my way through the project management and accounts department, honing my skills in building strong, lasting client relationships.
I’ve learned many things during the past decade plus—to always carry my passport in case of last minute travel, how to operate at least a dozen different Centerline coffee makers, to line up early for Pizza Friday, and that a five-minute render is nearly always a figment of the imagination, to name just a few.
In honor of my 13 years, I thought I’d share 13 pieces of wisdom:
- Always question the process. I’m not saying be a contrary jerk, but don’t accept the status quo “just because it’s the way it’s always been done.” If you’re always doing things exactly how they’ve been done, well, you’re gonna eventually go in a circle. All the amazing things I’ve been fortunate enough to do here started with a “hey, what if we did it this way…”
- Don’t take shit personally. Particularly with your clients! They have many reasons and context for why they say what they say or do. I promise you none of them have anything to do with you personally. For clients, try to learn more about their company’s politics, processes and quirks and then try to become their ally and partner.
- Don’t spend your time doing anything if you can’t answer the question: “this will make so-and-so’s job easier/better.” Hint: That could mean you, too.
- Find a way to say “yes.” I mean, isn’t that just much nicer than saying “no?” Don’t you want to work with people that always try to find the “yes” solution?
- Be comfortable in chaos. Embrace the chaos and be uncomfortable in the situations that seem to be going as planned.
- Bring people along. Make sure no one can question your logic and reasoning, even if you have to go back to the beginning and “tell the story” of how you arrived at the current place. Your colleagues, your clients, your Mom—whomever.
- Be patient enough to learn and impatient enough to take risks. This is my favorite quote. I even have it printed and taped up on my wall.
- Be the most calm and objective person in the room. This allows you to be the natural leader not the forced one. Takes longer, but lasts longer.
- Things WILL fall apart. Deadlines will move up, technology will fail, your shoot will be derailed by a hurricane. Roll with it. Be calm and deal with it like you planned it that way.
- I have never been satisfied with an output of my profession. If I had been it might make it easier for me to get complacent— and to me, that would be akin to death. There is always room for improvement and innovation and evolution and well, dang, that sounds fun.
- Making pretty, smart stuff is fun. That’s when it doesn’t feel like work, so do more of that.
- Be early. I’m serious…be 10 minutes early to everything and be prepared.
- Ask for what you want at work and in life. When I spotted new opportunities, both with clients and in my own career, I found a way to ask for them. The worst thing someone’s going to say is “no” (but if you read the above, you’ll find a way to get them to say “yes!”)