I was speaking with a student yesterday who brought up that his internship wasn’t really what he wanted and not all that much fun.  This student was kind of disenchanted and wondering if he had made the right call on a few things.

The truth is that not everything is a lot of fun, but it CAN lead to really big changes and potentially some different new paths.  New experiences tend to give you new tools to utilize.  I’ve been recently considering the different things I work on now and how they are giving me a much broader perspective on how to achieve results in differing businesses.  Even if you don’t LOVE every last piece of work you are doing, you may well be adding to your skills in such a way that will pay dividends long term.

smart_trips_logoCase in point, today was my first day of being a board member for St. Paul Smart Trips.   A friend of mine who is also interested in Sustainability had told me he was leaving the board membership and that I’d be a good fit.  He asked if I’d like to apply, which sounded cool, but I didn’t know if they’d want me.  I’m the exact opposite of what they are striving to achieve as I drive myself to the job at 6:30am and then drive home.  Kind of a poor example, right?  Well turns out that there are a lot of people like me and having that experience and perspective IS valuable.  I interviewed with the executive director and am now in a two year term for the organization.

Is this always going to be fun?  Probably not.  It’s additional work, no getting around it.  But I love meeting new people and learning new things, always, and this is a prime example of it.  There is a LOT of value to understanding more about how a non profit works, especially one that is so closely intertwined with the city planning and council.  I’m already positive it will be a good experience for learning new things and adding tools to the tool belt, as well as some fun occasionally too.  It’s really all perspective.   So if you look at things in a different light, as an experience that will empower you for having gone through it, that might change your appreciation (or dissatisfaction) for it.

I’ll try to write more about my work with St. Paul Smart Trips as well.  It seems like a great organization and really fits my outlook too.