This summer has made me come to terms with the fears involved with working in the “real world.” A world where adulting is the norm and society expects you to operate under the prewritten boundaries of what your title entails.
Now, I may be speaking from a slightly more anxious state being that I’m a senior, and the “what are you going to do after graduation?” question keeps being asked of me. Nevertheless, I do believe there is an underlying fear that comes with embarking on a new journey, especially one that involves your livelihood.
The first type of fear is finding an internship or job. I had worries about whether working with a literary agency was the right fit for me. I was intrigued by the job’s responsibilities but was unsure if my previous, and relatively limited, work with manuscripts was enough of a foundation to perform well in the role. This fear soon subsided as I began the job; I was thrown into the deep end. I was assigned multiple, different genre scripts a week where I was expected to read and write script coverages for each. I also was expected to do subject-based research for our clientele and create proposals and presentations to display my findings. While these responsibilities seem overwhelming, they motivated me to learn quickly and from my mistakes to make my next assignment that much better.
This brings me to the second type of fear, one that is performance-based. Before starting my internship, Imposter Syndrome made me doubt my confidence. I couldn’t help but question: Is my best good enough? Will I be able to produce the type of work they expect? Why should I have a say over what scripts have potential, I’m nobody… Needless to say, self-doubt is always a natural enemy. Yet, these doubts only define you if you let them. Rather than letting the fear take over, let it motivate you and prove it wrong. You will undoubtedly rise to the occasion and surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish.
The third fear is the expectations associated with the completion of an internship. The main expectation is knowing if this role is what you want to pursue as a career. If you haven’t heard it before, let me be the first to say, it is okay not to know. While I really enjoyed all that I have learned, the people I have worked with, and the role itself, I’m not sure if I would want to pursue a career as a literary agent. But I have gained a lot more knowledge about myself after this internship. I learned that I have a deep passion for helping those find their voices and ensuring their stories get told. I learned that I thoroughly enjoy the entertainment industry and would love to better understand different career paths in the field. I learned that work is not work if you love what you’re doing. In the end, it’s okay not to have all the answers. It’s learning more about the person you are that makes an internship impactful.
This is all to say, it’s normal to be afraid. In fact, most people are afraid to start something new, so don’t feel like you’re alone. This summer has taught me that the best satisfaction comes in overcoming the doubt that tries to hold you back from an experience that has the potential to change your outlook on your future.
My advice would be to chase the opportunities that make your heart skip a beat, find the excitement in the uncertainty, and allow the wind to blow fear into your sails, it will help you go far.