If you asked me two and a half years ago where I would be working in the future, I promise you, I wouldn’t have said Preen.ph. Not going to lie, the first six months of being in the real world and working wasn’t easy. Trust me when I say, college can only prepare you so much. Nothing compares to actually experiencing the work itself.
When I first started working, I couldn’t handle the stress that came along with it. I honestly had such a difficult time adjusting. In college, you can pick your classes, fix your schedule, and make it as chill as you want. Having a job is different. I had to try and find the balance between going to work, having a social life, and DJing. I couldn’t juggle all the tasks assigned to me and fell short so many times. I felt like I was just constantly working and always checking my phone for emails and messages. I also didn’t know how to take a break when I needed it. I had to learn how to work fast and smart so wouldn’t burn myself out.
Because I ended up working in an industry I didn’t study, I was thrown into unfamiliar situations. From writing stories to producing shoots, and conceptualizing social media plans, I had no idea what I was doing. But, I was willing to learn and ask questions. That’s one thing you should never forget. If you’re not an expert at something, don’t pretend like you are. There’s nothing wrong with admitting your shortcomings and asking for help. That way, you’ll also make less mistakes.
During the first six months, I felt like I was just constantly failing and messing everything up. I can’t tell you how many times I cried out of frustration and defeat. Although, I was good at hiding how weak I felt. At this point, I just had a negative mindset and was just waiting for my short-term contract to end. However, at the sixth month mark, another opportunity within the company came up and I took it. It seemed like a better fit, and it was.
As I started in that new role, I was still adjusting but I felt like I was starting to get the rhythm of things. I picked up the process of producing a shoot and knew the contingency plans if something fell through. I pushed myself to be more sociable so I could present myself and Preen.ph well at events. And the most unexpected, supposedly one-time video, turned into me becoming a co-host for a video series you guys love to watch. This, for me, is when everything shifted in a good way. This forced me to adapt to a lot of things. I had to be able to think on my feet and be quick on camera. I had to come out of my shell to be able to project my personality a little bit more. I also learned the value of working harder on a project. We were also able to create a dynamic between the whole team working on each video. I can’t explain to you the sense of fulfilment I got after shooting each video. This, in turn, kind of inspired me to put that same level of energy into the other tasks I had. For other shoots I started to be more hands-on and gave as much creative input as I could. In creating stories, I try to think of different executions. Overall, I have this confidence in me that I didn’t have before and I’m in a place in my career I didn’t think I’d be in.
The main lesson I’ve learned so far is that sometimes it pays to go through the hard times. If you’re starting a new job, know that it will really take time to adjust. When you’re going through that, ask for help when you need it, learn from your mistakes, and take note of what you’re doing well. Also start to look and your strengths and weaknesses, see how you can improve and let your good notes shine. Use this time to explore other avenues and aspects of your job that you can tap. See how you can nurture these because, sure, it will benefit the company but in the long run, it will be good for you as well. Not going to lie, of course I still have struggles at work and deal with stress but now I can handle it better and I know what I have to offer.
Art by Marian Hukom
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