Tag Archives: Preparedness

Motivation Mondays: The Devil Wears Prada

Today’s Motivation Monday post is brought to you by Thought Catalog. If you never visited their site, you really should check it out. They post hysterical articles and tons of random lists that are often applicable to the life of a 20 something. Their posts are guaranteed to improve even the worst days.

A couple of weeks ago, I found a Thought Catalog post titled “15 Life Lessons from “The Devil Wears Prada.” Intrigued, I clicked the link, read their list of tips and found that I agreed with all of them. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d absolutely check it out this weekend. The quick summary: Anne Hathaway lands her dream job at Runaway, an iconic fashion magazine. She then meets her boss, Meryl Streep and quickly realizes how demanding and challenging her new position is going to be. While some the antics of Hathaway and Streep are a bit exaggerated, there are some helpful pieces of advice for those starting their careers or working at internships.

My favorite points from Thought Catalog include:

1. Never Show Up To Meetings Unprepared.

– No matter how much you hate your boss, position or the work you’re doing, you must come prepared to meetings, presentations, etc. Not being prepared will ultimately cause you more stress than preparing did.

5. When Things Get Hard, Complaining Gets You Nowhere.

– Sure, there will be days when you’re frustrated, when your boss gives you the most ridiculous project to work on and the list goes on and on. Hopefully, the good days outnumber the bad ones. You can vent for a minute or two, but complaining to your co-workers is a bad decision.

10. Appearance Matters, No Matter What Anyone Says.

– This especially holds true when you work at a fashion magazine, like Hathaway does in the movie. However, regardless of where you work, your overall appearance does matter, from head to toe. You are a professional so the way you dress should convey that.

15. An Amazing Job Isn’t Always A Job That Makes You Happy.

– I’ve seen this happen to a bunch of recent graduates. You think job x is your dream job and is going to make you oh so happy. Then you come to find you hate it. Experience is the best teacher, meaning you won’t know what your dream job is until you start working and trying different things. It’s okay to admit you were wrong; it’s trial and error.

When you’re interning or just starting out, you will be asked to do things that you feel are beneath you. But remember, respect isn’t given, it’s earned. You have to prove yourself…everyone started out the same way. Some days will be better than others and you’ll work well with some bosses and not so well with others. Don’t let one experience define the rest and keep searching until you find what makes you truly happen. Never settle!

Check out the rest of Thought Catalog’s lessons from The Devil Wears Prada here. Share your own advice too!

The Devil’s in the Details

Four days. 400 participants. Over 40 facilitators. A dozen different locations on one giant property. Countless amounts of materials. Chaos could easily ensue.

All of the statements above were true aspects of the event I worked in California last week. It was a mega event with lots of components. Now, I’ve worked events before but nothing like this. It was unreal how my team operated like a fine-oiled machine. Literally, everyone knew where they were supposed to be, what was going on and what was happening next. How does such a large-scale event go off without any real catastrophes? Here’s my take on that answer.

  • Prep Work: Before anyone stepped foot on the beautiful grounds in California, we reviewed a lifesaving document that broke down the week day by day. Each day listed the sessions occurring, who was in charge, who was helping, the materials needed, the location and the time frame. This thing was the Bible for the week. If you had a question, you just checked the spreadsheet to find the answer. No need to bother anyone else. It was the main reason why our team functioned so well.
  • Plans on Plans on Plans: There was a contingency plan for technology issues, weather issues and anything else you can think of. We even had ponchos for every participant ready to go in case the skies opened up. Every ‘what if’ situation was considered and possible solutions were evaluated all before the event took place. A detailed crisis communications plan was sent to the entire team the week before as well. Everyone was familiar with protocol and knew what steps to take in specific situations.
  • Devil’s in the Details: The attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the program. From the type of seating at open session, to the layout of each dinner, everything was intentional and was thought about beforehand. It was also clear who the target audience was throughout the program. You knew you were dealing with millennials based off of songs played, topics discussed and games selected. In my opinion, this was the most crucial part of why the program was/is successful. Conscious decisions were made in order to deliver the best possible program for attendees. Without every detail, small or large, the experience would not be the same.
  • Common Purpose: Our entire team, internal and external members, believed in the goals of the event. Each member was passionate about executing a meaningful program that would impact participants. That passionate was contagious and kept everyone motivated and energized.

I am so fortunate to have worked on such a giant event this early in my career. There were so many things I learned; the above list is just the most important. What do you think makes large-scale events successful? Add to my list!

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