Of course! And eat well so that you can focus well. Maybe also engage in some physical activity to exercise the body. Just... put your best foot forward.
Happy Thanksgiving!! — with Toro Adeyemi.
On an ongoing project or one that is completed, how do you know how well you have performed? A “good job” or “nice work” from a client or manager means what exactly? There are a few ways you can get feedback in a professional setting, and I’ve found 2 to be most effective:
1 – Touch Bases: A regularly set time (weekly, daily, etc) along the project lifeline where you check in with both your team and the ultimate project owner (fine if over the phone, best if in person). Is everyone aligned on the goal? Are you articulating the progress of the team and pointing out where improvement can specifically be made? A constant stream of interaction in this way will keep everyone moving and on the same page.
2 – Surveys: This may not be applicable to everyone, but there’s something to having the written opinions of a client – you can reference it, learn from it, and track your progress when you learn from it. You may also get more candid feedback through this medium.
Constructive feedback works wonders because it not only helps to improve your work, but it ultimately helps to improve your self. Ask Questions.
Pictured: In the Basement Theater Co. "The Lady in Red Converses with Diablo" preview before the opening run.
Don’t do it. Or if you do, panic constructively. Ever been in a position where you are facing multiple deadlines on different accounts and you don’t seem to have enough arms or hours in the day to get everything sorted? Hopefully you don’t choke or get too overwhelmed in this scenario. Instead, delegate tasks that need less of your attention, communicate your load to your managers or team, and practice better time management – did you really need to go to the snack room for 15 minutes knowing you had a lot to do?
Personally, I get a bit of a rush when working under pressure – I like the responsibility and the feeling of impending doom if a deadline isn’t met (perhaps because I know it will always work out in the end. At least, it has always worked out…).
If you’re working under stress, it can reflect poorly on your work. When working in fast paced and intense environments, I tend to beat myself up on oversights because they are completely avoidable if you just chill out. So breath, take a moment, stay calm, and deliver. Everything will be okay.
There are lessons to be learned from the Good and especially the Bad, and you can scream when the work is all over!
How do you really begin to gauge this? Take into consideration the time it will take you to complete the project, the resources you will needed to acquire (paying developers, graphic designers), and the effect your work will ultimately have on the company. Another great way to do this is to research what similar projects generally charge, and/or come up with an hourly rate that will reflect your effort.
There was one project I took on that required a great deal of planning, fundraising, research and commuting over a number of months. It was important for me to convey the importance PR has on a company as well as convey the benefits of handling the work for them. It just might be the case that your services are outside their budget, so either do what you can with what they have, or do the work for the sake of experience.
Remember too! The more experience you have, the better work you can do, and clients hire for expertise.
Negotiating is communicating your worth, so handle with care, and don’t get washed over. (See what I did there?)
— with Igor Balla.
Your personality matters tremendously! Not only must you convince a prospective client that you can do the work, but you’ve got to show them that you are great to work with, too. One way I like to think of it is, would this person be fine with flying across the country with me on a business trip? Would the trip be pleasant? If yes, well done.
If you’re working on a project involving a number of people, you’ll have to navigate through all of their personalities and working styles. It takes some practice to identify the characteristics and roles that will help to complete a project effectively: you should work to be a team member that is reliable, has a good attitude, and frankly, doesn’t annoy the crap out of people.
The best work will be done when everyone is working fluidly -- one cog out of place can stall the whole process. Be the person who helps to move the project forward, not someone who holds it back by not doing what you should, or disrupting those that have it together.
Contribute positively and you will be remembered for doing so.
— with Ronnie Palejwala, Anna Thomas, Stephanie Schneider and Julia Costa atUndergraduate Marketing Organization.
Experience is important, and for someone who is just starting out, it’s beneficial to have someone in your corner to guide you and to help you prevent the mistakes you could have made.
It’s valuable to establish such a relationship with someone you respect and admire. When I started out in a public relations agency in NYC, things were moving at 100mph. During orientation, we had met many of the Senior Executives to get an idea of who exactly was in the company. One in particular inspired me with the work he had done, and his energy really spoke to me. I made it a point to get to know him better, to tell him about myself and what I wanted to accomplish, and he shared a great deal of wisdom and tactics with me that I still use and think about to this day. When things were particularly tough in the office, I knew I could slip away for a few minutes, have a chat with him and come back recharged. While I am not at the agency anymore, we still maintain a relationship and I know if I ever need anything, he’ll be there to give me advice.
Mentors comes in various shapes and sizes: In grade school we’d call them “counselors,” in college, “advisors.” Whether it’s a professor, a colleague, or a family member, the point is to build a relationship that goes beyond professionalism to a comfortable point where you know you can speak openly and honestly. Especially when you’re growing something on your own, it’s a good feeling to know that you’ve got support coming from many sides.
— withYinka Adeyemi.
This comes naturally to me--it’s just talking, in my opinion. Go to events (Meetup is a great place to start), talk to people, see what they’re into, tell them what you’re about, exchange info and keep in touch. Simple. Even if you never see someone again, you can get some great insight from a conversation -- especially when talking to someone who is established in their field. I’ve had 10 minute conversations with strangers that have blown my mind and left me completely inspired.
Professionally, I’ve recognized that it is majorly beneficial to have an inside connection when you’re applying for a position or landing an account. The more you put yourself out there, the higher the chances for your success. Every encounter is an opportunity if you care to think of it that way, so go! Keep current~Know what’s happening~
— with Stacey Bendet.
This is a big one in terms of new business. I’ve been pitched projects that I either didn’t have the technical ability for or the time to complete. That doesn't mean you just say “No”. That means you figure out how to get it done with the resources you have.
One project that comes to mind, appropriately for #tbt, is with Project ESPER. I was recruited on the second round of the Verizon Powerful Answers Award with Tabula Rasa VN, and tasked with producing a video explaining the overall concept of the developed idea. I don’t generally create videos, and so I recruited some talented peers who, like me, are always interested in new and interesting collaborations. We had a crazy deadline with shifting parameters but we got it done, and I couldn’t have without my awesome team.
This was a nice stretch for me in terms of the hats I had to wear: actor, voice actor, screenwriter, video editor, director and project manager. Shared is the animated portion of the video, made possible by Julian Rowe (Animation), Alfred Rylands (Original Music & Audio Editing) and Alex Zimmer (Video Editing).
— with Julian Rowe and 4 others.
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