Saturday, January 8, 2011
Your Career and You: "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over"
I realized something this morning as I was cranking out a letter of recommendation for a former student who wants to go on to grad school (a good thing, by the way!)...
Somehow I was doing all the work...not she!
First off...she sent me an email last night at 11:30 p.m. asking if I would do her a "special favor"...that had to be done no later than the next day!
Oooh-kaaay. I'm a chronically last-minute guy myself...work a LOT on adrenalin rushes, so this sort of fit my own M.O.
Then, when I jumped up this morning and got started on what I had promised, I discovered TWO "tiny" problems.
First, the email address that she had provided for sending the letter was wrong, so I had to go online to track down the correct one.
Then, since I'm a notoriously nosey type (and, because of the above, a little suspicious), I decided to double-check the name of the graduate program she was applying for. Turns out she had that wrong as well!
I corrected all the errors and sent off the recommendation...mostly because I believe this young woman really wants to get this degree, and I also believe that she will be fabulous in the career field for which she is studying (not public relations, by the way!).
I sent her a message telling her about the errors and what I had done to correct them. Took nearly six hours to get a response!
Apparently she figured her part was done and it was up to me to make sure everything else was taken care of!
And this inspired the thought for today. As the eternally-famous Lawrence Peter ("Yogi") Berra is credited with having said, "It ain't over 'til it's over."
This observation holds true as much in life, career progression, and continued educational aspirations as it does in baseball.
You don't just haphazardly throw stuff together and wait for someone else to clean it up for you...you take responsibility for your actions and do your utmost to make sure that what you are producing is as close to perfect as possible.
I'm constantly reminding my undergrad PR students at Curry College and my grad Communications students at Regis College of this simple but vital step. Some day...
There you have it...short and simple. "It ain't over 'til it's over."
Keep your trigger finger away from the "send" button until you have revisited your work at least two or three times with a critical eye.
Then you share it with the world.
Make yourself...and me...proud!
"The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Essays, Second Series , Nominalist and Realist"