Today’s lesson is about after hours,
but in no way, shape, or form is it hot or sexy or steamy.
I stayed at my internship an hour late today to finish up work after I was asked to do a few more things.
I usually really don’t mind.
But this time the sun was setting, and there was a total of four of us left in the office.
I was exhausted, I had a prior commitment that I had to push back, and after a really long day I just wanted to go home.
But as soon as I felt those thoughts starting to come on, I stopped and reminded myself how absolutely lucky I am to have this internship. I reminded myself how opportunities like this only happen once, and how someone needed me. I remembered that everything I do or touch, or everything I don’t do or don’t touch, has an effect on the final outcome. I remembered what I was here for, and that I was chosen to be here. So I sucked it up. I wouldn’t let them down.
As walked across the room to take something somewhere, one of the producers I was working with noticed and stopped me.
“How long are you supposed to be here for?” he asked.
“Until six,” I said. “I’m staying late today.”
The corners of his mouth flipped into a smile.
“That’s how you get ahead,” he said. “That’ll set you apart.”
I’ve always thought it was a myth—the whole idea of staying late and looking good for it. I’ve always thought, “Couldn’t anyone do that to look good?”
But tonight didn’t provide me with some huge realization that it’s not myth, or that in order to be great you have to stay behind.
It just made me realize that people are always watching. People are always noticing.
And that’s nice.
The real lesson?
Always do your best,
and do what has to be done.
Even if that means staying late every once in a while.