What am I learning? How is this internship advancing my skills? For the past few months I have been so caught up in the excitement (and work) of my travels that I have not really reflected on how this internship is benefiting me. I know I am learning plenty of new driving skills and mechanic/handy-man skills; I am learning my way around google maps, google docs, Facebook, and twitter; and I have definitely improved my social skills! But, how specifically is this internship going to help me in my future endeavors outside the “road trip business”?
I’m not sure if I’ll really know till it’s over, however I can see that it is teaching me a great deal about balance. Especially the work and life balance that seems to plague most Americans. I do not think I have mastered this balance. With the technology that we have today it is becoming ever harder to click off and leave your work behind. Smart phones have become a necessity. They have also decreased our ability to leave work behind. I know for me, with an undiagnosed case of OCD, if I get a work an e-mail/text/call to my phone I must check it. I must also respond if there is any questions asked or it picks at me throughout the day/night, reminding me that I have yet to respond. I have been trying, while traveling our gorgeous country, to turn myself off and just be…but it’s HARD! When my phone is right there…and that red number says how many e-mails/texts/calls I have yet to respond to…it’s like when cash is sitting in a teenagers pocket yearning to be spent. My phone feels so similar to that now. I do not want to become attached to my phone and not be able to have peace and quiet. I used to be able to meditate for five minutes, currently I can hardly quiet my mind enough to sleep. I’m not sure how I will achieve this balance, being part of a business that is run by my phone or computer most of the time, but I know who to listen to. The people we are interviewing.
Another thing that I know this internship will improve is my communication skills and interpersonal skills. This job has created an extremely different relationship with my boss than any other job I have had or will probably ever have. We have spent a considerable amount of time together and we have crossed the line of just being boss and employee. Spending so much time together it would be almost impossible to maintain the level of professionalism that is usually expected between a boss and employee. It would definitely make my job A LOT harder if I could not be frank with her. It is not always pleasing and it is not always understood where that boundary is. I am learning. I am listening.
Road Trip Tip: make sure you make time for yourself…especially when it’s busy…everyone will thank you later!