Years ago, I began one of my first summer internships at SC-ETV which stands for South Carolina Education Television. To tell you a little bit about SC-EVT, I have taken the liberty of quoting the website which states, “South Carolina ETV is the state’s public educational broadcasting network with 11 television transmitters, 8 radio frequencies and a multi-media educational system in more than 2,500 schools, colleges, businesses and government agencies. Using television, radio and the web, SCETV’s mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning.”  http://scetv.org/index.php/about/

As you can see, the main goal of SC-ETV is education. While there, I worked in the Creative Services Department. I learned many lessons both personally and professionally that have been incorporated into my life. I wish to share some of those “Aha Moments” as Oprah would call them, with you.

At SC-ETV, I quickly learned the culture of the office. Although many different departments wore business suits to work, I learned that wearing jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers was the norm for our department. Sure, there were some who wore suits and business casual wear to work (slacks and  a polo) those who tended to go out and shoot footage tended to be less formal in their clothing. I suppose it is only practical when you are shooting footage on a hot summer day of some type of historical celebration to be as comfortable as possible.

From day one at the office, I tended to dress business casual (dress pants/skirt and a blouse; dress and a sweater). I went by the rule of whatever I would wear to church, I would wear to work. A few weeks into working, my boss took me aside and said, “Morgan, I notice how you are always dressed professionally. Keep that up because whether you think so or not, people notice.”

From that conversation, I learned: Dressing the part can sometimes make the difference. Your clothing communicates something about you long before you open your mouth.

As I continued to work there, I had the opportunity to be given a project by my boss’s supervisor. I cannot recall the specific task, but I do know that I had to go into his office to get briefed for my role. As I walked to his office, I noticed that his door was closed. On his door was a sign that stated, “I’m uninterested in how the job can’t be done.”

Before ever entering his office, I learned an important lesson:

We all have 24 hours in a day. What you do with them is up to you.

Persistence pays off.

Hard work pays off.

Determination pays off.

But excuses are unacceptable.

Like his sign said, in life, many people’s interest does not lie in why you could not get your job done. It’s more tailored to see how you will overcome those obstacles to get the job done, especially when others are counting on you.

At another job, I was called into the CEO’s office to work on a project. I usually did not work directly under him so I was shocked that he even knew my name, much less wanted me to come to his office. In a rush, I left my office and bolted to his door, leaving all my materials behind.

When I came in his office, he looked at me and said, “Where is your pen and paper?”

Stunned, I was honest and said, “I forgot, sir.”

He then replied, “Go back to your office. You should never come into someone’s office without a pen or paper. It’s not professional.”

I left his office.

I thought to myself, “Surely he must think I’m an idiot.”

Later that afternoon, he called me back into his office. I carried enough pens and paper in their for everyone to use. lol

What I learned was “Be prepared. Sometimes you only get one opportunity to prove yourself.”

After working at that office a few months, I tended to continue to work directly under the CEO. I, among, many of my co-workers were shocked that I had been there the shortest amount of time, yet I was being called on by him more than some who had worked there for years.  Of course, comments began to be made, stating that I was the “favorite probably because of the way I looked,” totally disregarding my intellect which made me capable to do my job and do it well.

That’s when I learned that jealousy is a part of your life when you are doing well. Ignore them.  “When you do well, people notice.” -Oprah

Nevertheless, I , myself was curious why he would call me in his office to brainstorm a new program or go over a speech or proofread an email, etc. Surely, there were others in the office with more experience than me.

After proofreading an email for the CEO, he stated: “Morgan, do you know why I continue to ask you to help me with projects?”

“No sir,” I said.

“It’s because you don’t complain. Any time I ask you to do something, big or small, you do it. You’re pleasant. You’re a hard worker and I like that.”

That was when I learned that sometimes it’s not about qualifications, but more so it’s about your attitude. His comment reminded me of what my Grandma always said, “___________ will take you further than your money or education ever will…”

Through my experience, I’ve learned that respect, hard work, humbleness, and faith are some of those attributes that will take you further than money or education.

Like always, my Grandma was right.

Love you guys and girls,

M.S.

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