“Okay, I’m done. This is torture. I’m not going to look at the clock for an hour. If I don’t look at the clock, then it will move faster. Maybe the reason it’s not moving is because I keep looking at it.”
The reason the clock moves slowly is because a boring work environment reflects characteristics of a clock. Slow. Unforgiving. The clock will continue about its business with or without any input. The clock doesn’t need you; you need the clock. When your efforts are not being appreciated, time drags on.
Although I have interned at four different places in the last two years, I have never felt so appreciated or challenged to push myself more than here at Imagine.
My first project at Imagine was to research what libraries around the country do to fundraise and come up with some fundraising ideas of my own. I spent a day compiling a list, thinking that I would email it to whoever asked me to do it and never see it again, a common theme at the other internships I’ve had. To my surprise, the next day, as I walked into the brainstorming meeting (something I was never allowed to take part in at other places), a copy of my list was sitting in front of each person. My ideas, my work, something I did, being used at a meeting! It may seem silly, but I don’t think anyone realized how much those 12 pieces of paper laying on the meeting table meant to me. That was the moment I knew what it felt like to have my efforts be truly appreciated.
This incident and many others during my time here made me really think about the meaning, and the importance, of appreciation in the workplace. When you work on something and never see the results of your work again, that doesn’t fuel you to try harder. It makes you just want to do enough to get by.
Watching something you work hard on produce beneficial outcomes challenges you to come up with new ideas. True appreciation is a fuel for creative productivity. Breathing life into new ideas and watching them produce results incites a feeling of appreciation that is stronger than a million “Thank You’s.”
Tamara Cannella serves as a client relations/media relations intern for Imagine Communications. Email Tamara at firstname.lastname@example.org.