Befriend the intern to fire up your career

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I am going to be a better person at self-promotion because I don't brag enough. Ryan Paugh, who was basically my intern when I met him, and now he’s almost my boss and definitely my social-skills mentor, tells me that I am popular because I’m interesting but that I suck at self-promotion. (He uses, as an example, the day I promoted an event on my blog a few hours after it actually happened.)

I do not tell Ryan to shut up because he has taught me a ton about myself since the day I started working with him. And in fact, he makes me feel qualified to tell you how you can fire up your career by paying close attention to the people with the least work experience.

1. Recognize interns are gatekeepers to the good stuff.

When it was time to promote my second book, I went to Keith Ferrazzi, author of one of my favorite career advice books. I needed a quotation from Keith that said something like, “I am The Great Keith Ferazzi and I can tell you for sure that your career will be crap and you will die drowning in the blood of a rabid coyote if you do not buy Penelope Trunk's book.”

Just so you don't get confused, I'm going to start calling my first book my first book and my second book my second book. At this point, I have written enough about oral sex and family atrocities that you will not be shocked to hear that my first book is really a memoir that my publisher – out of the University of Colorado — decided was too disturbing to be sold as a memoir, so it was published as a novel.

Anyway, another thing Keith is great at is hiring interns. Keith's intern, and gatekeeper, at the time of the publication of my second book, was Ian Ybarra. Ian said sure, he could come up with a quote. (It did not have animal references, but still, it was a nice endorsement.) Ian could see that I was a book-promotion novice, so he started giving me tips: Trade email lists, give speeches, pitch bloggers. Note: this was five years ago, when no one pitched bloggers.

Wait, please. Do not send me your book because I get too many. I'm sick of getting copies of business books. (Note to all publishers: I am getting really good at self-promotion and my blog is about to really take off, so could you please start sending me books with literary merit? Here's my address: 15010 Oak Grove Lane, Darlington, WI 53030.) (And, a note to people who are going to say aren't I worried that if I publish my address that stalkers will come get me in my sleep. Check me out on Google maps. The farm is so remote that even a stalker would be scared to go there in the dark.) (Finally, a note about using parentheses: Can we talk about style? Can there be more talk about style in blogging? Are links inherently parenthetical? What if each thought in a post is parenthetical, but they all add up to something that is central to our lives? Is that innovative or is it too e e cummings?) It's so difficult to be original.

2. Don’t rush on the phone; interns chat about things that really matter.

Then, one day, Ian wrote to me that he was moving with his girlfriend to Beloit. And then to Saudi Arabia. Or something like that. I can't remember where he moved, but he grew up in a really really small town in a state that gets joked about just like Wisconsin. And he told me about how MIT courted him because he had high SAT scores in a weird zip code. When I worry about my kids going to a rural school with no orchestra, I hang my hat on hopes painted with broad brush strokes of the tidbits of Ian's life that I may or may not remember correctly.

The next intern was Ryan Geist. I love him because I met him when he was at a big job at a big firm where I would never have been able to go to when I was his age because I was too busy not doing what the world expected me to do. What I love about Ryan is he gave those expectations a chance, and he was brave enough to say he didn't like them, and he landed on Keith's doorstep.

At the same time Ryan was there, so was Sara Grace. She called to get a quote from me. And I started talking to her about what she does. What her aspirations are. And she started telling me all these ways that Keith repurposes content. I was blown away. He is great at turning everything he writes or says into a post. The thing that really struck me was that he records interviews and has them transcribed in India and then edited into a post. That's a great idea.

3. Let an intern show you your weak spot: you’ll love her for it.

That's a great idea because reporters ask interesting questions. And then I end up talking about topics I hadn't thought about talking about before. The reporter uses 10% of what I say and the rest is gone. Poof. I do about five interviews a week, so recording them seemed like a good idea. But I realized that I actually like the process of writing. I don't like the process of reading what I already said. (I wonder, does anyone actually like that process? It seems solipsistic. And shut up to all you people who think everything I do is solipsistic, self-promotion. Here is a list of people who are a thousand times better at self-promotion than I am and I wish I could be any of them for a day:

Guy Kawasaki

Jason Calcanis

Ramit Sethi

And probably all you people who say that I'm in love with myself and never shut up about myself are also people who rant about me into a recorder and then hit replay so you can listen to yourself rant.)

4. Lay groundwork to get a job from the intern one day.

So goal number one is to be better at promoting myself.

And goal number two is to be better at using all the content I generate to create more posts. I am also not good at this because once I generate the content, it bores me. I want to move on. So I'm not sure how I will meet this goal either.

But here's a start:

Esquire contacted me this week about how to quit. And I decided it might make a good blog post. I see that it's taken me too many words to get to it. So it's hard to say that it's the real subject of this blog post. But maybe you will like it:

Don’t do an exit interview. If they wanted to hear your ideas about how to make things better, you wouldn’t be quitting, would you? So this is really just a way for you to burn bridges and annoy people. Don’t fall into the trap. If they insist on an exit interview, say nothing negative. At all.

Send a thank you note. Anyone you worked closely with should get a hand-written thank you note. Bring up specific times when they surprised you with kindness, made your work better, invigorated you with their own contagious brilliance or creativity. And, if you are thinking that you work with people who merely make you want to hit your head on a brick wall, remember this: Intelligent people can learn from anyone.

Take a vacation. You probably think about work all the time, not because you’re a slave but because you like solving problems and learning new things and meeting interesting people. Which is what work really is. This means that the only time you can really take a vacation is in between jobs. So do that. Don’t start the new job right away.

Have humility. You are probably not quitting to take a job that sucks, right? So, since you are quitting for a better job, you don’t need to shove it in peoples’ faces that you are moving up in the world and they are not. The world is not a race to a McMansion, the world is a contest for who can be the most kind-hearted and tolerant. That’s what makes a good life—you’ll get kindness in return. So be gracious and grateful.

Think of quitting as a networking event. These people are no longer your co-workers, they are the network that will help you get the job after the one you just got. And don’t forget the entry-level people who look like they couldn’t help anyone. The interns will get big jobs one day, and they will remember each person who saw them for who they are and who they could be.

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  1. Danya
    Danya says:

    “The interns will get big jobs one day, and they will remember each person who saw them for who they are and who they could be.”

    Very true!

    Thanks for this awesome post.

  2. Alisa Bowman
    Alisa Bowman says:

    P–I’m thinking about your stalker line and posting your address and I’m thinking about Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. It took place on a farm, no? True story, no?

    Also, I’m thinking your next book is about how to brand yourself on the internet and not be a fake. You are all about authenticity and you manage to pull off a whole bunch of virtual things that most of the internet experts say people ought not to be doing. People love counter-intuitive books. It’s a message only you can deliver. Just thought I’d toss it out there.

  3. davednh
    davednh says:

    Great post, as usual. I have become an avid reader. I continue to enjoy your posts because reading them is like being in a conversation. Don’t stop the parenthetic remarks – you have some of your est lines there.
    But, I am really commenting because I think you have succinctly captured the essence of work in the line: “you like solving problems and learning new things and meeting interesting people”. If work continues to be that for intellectually curious people then happiness will come.
    Also, a good point about not burning bridges – regardless if you left voluntarily or involuntarily – you never know when these connections will help you down the road and the momentary “I told them” is never worth it in the long run.
    Thanks for continuing to produce compelling commentary.

  4. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Thank you for this. I fit the profile from your previous post “Stop Worrying that your Twentysomething is Lost,” to a t. I am 28, have worked in four industries since graduating six years ago, with last two positions lasting no more than two years. My last position was in the veiled (and rightly reviled) hedge fund industry. I went in with hopes of making big money, and left two years later to save my confidence and well-being (not to mention that the market tanked and money was shrinking fast). I read an article about a group of angel investors ( who focus on women-led companies, was so inspired by the story ( ), that I wrote them a cold cover letter, and was subsequently hired as an MBA intern although I am not an MBA.

    It’s been a great experience learning from a community of successful and motivated women who want to change the world by helping women attain wealth and power through entrepreneurship.

    But soon I will have to face the reality of unemployment when the internship is over, but now I have a greater network through Golden Seeds. Regaining my mojo from leaving a toxic job is also helping me reconnect with friends and family. I always like to take the unorthodox road in life, and I am very grateful and inspired for your uncompromising honesty and courage to speak it.

  5. Jen
    Jen says:

    Thanks for celebrating the interns. I remember those days and everyone needs to be given a chance. We have to start somewhere! With regards to quitting, I think it’s important to share this information. While quitting can be exciting if you are moving on to bigger and better things, it’s always made me anxious too. You definitely want to quit on positive terms and never burn bridges.

  6. Rick
    Rick says:

    Hired an intern because he was smart and good person.10 years later he was my boss. I guess it was a good hire!

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      What? No! I get so many emails from people asking if I’m done blogging. I am not done. Not saying goodbye. If anything, the past few months have been an experiment for me about how it feels to blog less. And it feels terrible. I think I probably need to blog to be sane. Like other people need to try new food to feel sane, or something like that. Or maybe all of us here are a little not sane and that’s why it feels so awful when I’m not here.

      Anyway. No. Not saying goodbye. I love reading the comments. I love that people are here.


  7. Linda
    Linda says:

    Working with and developing junior staff (we call them grads)has been one of the best things I have done in my career. Encouraging them and watching them ‘get it’ in their job and then go on to better things is very rewarding – particularly when you later meet up with them over a coffee, in the liftwell or at the shops and they tell you of their latest success. I don’t know whether I will get a job from one of them or because of one of them in the future (I work for a very big organisation)but that was not the reason I worked with them and still help them with job applications and references. I have to run my own race – not always sure where this is going to take me but I have loved the journey.

  8. Jonha @ Happiness
    Jonha @ Happiness says:

    Sometimes starters help you realize how important it is to rebuild something that needs to. Sometimes they see things in black and white when you’re already viewing things in shades of gray.

  9. Ilana
    Ilana says:

    For someone with no social skills your advice about quitting shows remarkable emotional insight and intelligence.

  10. Anita Junttila
    Anita Junttila says:

    I love this post! Let me tell you about my son. He is 18 and just got a new job for a paving company. It is seasonal and he will be out of a job in Late October. Being the Gen Y that he is, he didn’t cancel his other job interviews but went anyway and asked them to hire him in late October when he will need another job. He got a yes and now has another job lined up. It didn’t even occur to him (as it would to me) to not make the request. I was on the phone with him yesterday and he was telling me about his first day and I could hear the clicking of the keyboard of his computer as he was updating his facebook at the same time.

    What have I learned? Those young ones, those interns, gen Y are not afraid to go after what they want and ask for it.

    love your blog Penelope.

  11. Chris
    Chris says:

    That last nugget of advice really rings true. People should treat everyone they come into contact with at work as though that person is going somewhere too. You never know who’s going to be behind the desk at your next interview.

  12. Monica O'Brien
    Monica O'Brien says:

    You didn’t write this explicitly so can I just add that good interns/entry-level workers are friends with all the other good interns/entry-level workers? So if you need to get to Keith Ferrazzi, check if your intern is friends with Ryan Geist. I bet they are. And if they aren’t, they will definitely have no problem calling him up to hang out.

  13. Alexander
    Alexander says:

    This is an awesome post! Do you always write such long posts? I mean, how much content can one find on a topic? You are greater than you say you are! The insights and your storyline-style of giving this knowledge to the readers is a great gift. You really could write books in thsi style and people would not only get a whole bunch of new career tools, but be entertained in the best fashion while learning them :-)

    Thanks from Germany


  14. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I don’t think (effective) self-promotion is about bragging.
    I think it’s about good communication and finding, developing, and exploiting that connection that resonates between you and your audience.
    Whatever it is that you’re self-promoting will hopefully be interesting to and serve the interests of your audience. If it is, they will then be more likely to listen, respond favorably, and remember your self-promotion in a positive light rather than label you as solipsistic or narcissistic.
    Good communication is the key to the start of good and effective self-promotion.

  15. Margaret Goerig
    Margaret Goerig says:

    My comment just now was supposed to be replying to Chris’s farther up. It made more sense there, as opposed to here.
    Anyhow. Penelope, I can see Ryan Paugh’s point about your self-promotion. The link to your first book includes a review that’s not too flattering and there is a better one at But I, for one, love your way of not self-promoting. It’s that sort of wry humility that endears you to me and while I agree that it’s good to pay attention to advice from anyone willing to give it and to decide if it’s pertinent to us or not, I hope that you recognize what’s so great about your style now and that you do not change it *too* too much.
    p.s. I know that you hate people pointing out typos but there is one under bullet No. 4, “Send a thank you note,” that has “should” and “can” back-to-back, and it seems like one or the other should be chosen, as they are quite different verbs.

  16. Dale at Hospitality Re-Defined
    Dale at Hospitality Re-Defined says:

    I love your posts, all of them. My friend, Maria Killam, put me on to you several month ago when I was starting a new Blog, and she has told me repeatedly what an authentic writer you are, which is evident in all your posts.

  17. Marilynn
    Marilynn says:

    So true about being kind and tolerant in your career. Too bad I didn’t learn that in my twenties just starting out.. I thought I knew everything! lol

  18. George
    George says:

    Great post (as usual). I always enjoy them.

    First, I completely agree on your rules about how to quit. Never do an exit interview and stay in touch with everyone thru LinkedIn and other tools.

    Second, this reminded me of my first job out of school at Ernst & Young. After a year there, one of the senior partners approached me and asked if he could be my mentor. I asked why. He said that since he thought he would work for me one day. I was a little shocked, but we developed a very good relationship and stay friends 15 years later. He made a difference in my career, and I would do anything to help him out.

  19. Gary
    Gary says:

    Interesting in that you’ve never acknowledged the existence of Making Scenes on this blog before (afaik), let alone acknowledged that it’s a memoir.

    Folks, the stuff in there is more messed up than you know.

  20. ash
    ash says:

    Interns generally have nothing to lose and fresh eyes when looking at a company. I made my first mark as an intern with my company 13 years ago and have tried to stay in touch with that side of me by always picking the fresh meats’ brains. I’ve also learned that some interns suck and add no value. Such is life.

    Mostly I wanted to comment to say I LOVED this post! I’ve missed this part of Penelope, and I always like a Ryan(s) story. The advice for quitting is extremely good. Please don’t leave us any time soon!

  21. Vinnie
    Vinnie says:

    So hold on… Your first book was published under Adrienne Eisen? That makes, what–four names? Ok… Not the point of the post, but I couldn’t help noting that.

  22. Ferrazzi Fan
    Ferrazzi Fan says:

    Ian Ybarra = never an intern for Keith Ferrazzi
    Ryan Geist = never an intern for Keith Ferrazzi
    Sara Grace = never an intern for Keith Ferrazzi

    all way-more-than-full-time employees

    on one hand, I guess it’s convenient to use the word intern to get people to quickly understand the general lesson without having to explain that it applies to interns and young, entry-level full-time employees, etc.

    on the other, disappointing to see someone so eager to improve her self-promotion, demote the very types of people upon whom she’s built her business

  23. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    Hm. I thought of fact-checking this, but I thought that the title wasn’t important. I think intern means beginning, and there is a contract with an intern, more than with a regular entry-level worker, that the employee will learn a lot in exchange for taking an entry-level salary. So to me, it just means “good beginning-of-career job”.

    To be honest, Ryan Paugh was never an intern either.


    • Bee Gomez
      Bee Gomez says:

      Huh? How about just telling the truth and saying “make friends with the youngest person in the room”–which is really what you mean.

      I don’t understand all this emphasis on getting a job. I’ve been a successful freelancer for 20 years, and I’ve had 2 staff positions, both of which were dismal. Getting a gig beats getting a job.

  24. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Life through the lens of the Peneloscope delights again.

    My little secret? When I see you have a new post, I go first to Pioneer Woman, read her latest post, and then jump back here to read your new stuff. I experience the same rush I assume those Polar Bear swimmers get when they fling off the down-filled parkas and plunge their lily white goosebumps into the Pacific Ocean on January 1, except I don’t have to reveal my own LWGs to the greater outdoors to get it.

  25. neko
    neko says:

    The best part about today’s long, meaty post with lots of different concepts/food for thought ?

    Like a piece of already-chewed gum, I can stick it under my desk & come back later and chew it again a little more ….

  26. Brigitte
    Brigitte says:

    This is all kinds of fantastic.

    Does your advice change at all if you’re not leaving for another job…but rather to start your own business? I’d imagine all these apply, especially the network bit, but would you add anything?

  27. Ryan Paugh
    Ryan Paugh says:

    You know what? You haven’t told me to shut up in awhile and I really do appreciate that. I’m going to say thank you by promising not to tell you to shut up whenever you tell me how I need to get engaged to my girlfriend.

    I don’t know if I can keep that promise, but I’ll try.

  28. MIchelle TItus
    MIchelle TItus says:

    For your “don’t send me any books” responses:
    "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."

    – €“Moses Hadas

  29. Irving Podolsky
    Irving Podolsky says:

    Self promotion? Gee Penelope, I can’t imagine you doing it better than you already are, simply by being yourself. In my opinion, the reason you have so greatly expanded your exposure is due to your humility, fragility, self doubting and wit. We all relate to that. We all, at times, feel vulnerable, and it’s comforting to know we are not alone, especially when we fail. When Penelope Trunk falls and crumbles, we get to read how she picks up the pieces and pushes on, because that’s what heroes do. That’s what we all must do.

    Promotion? Of what? You’re gifting us examples of our human journey while inviting us to learn and evolve as you do. ‘Cause ya know what, P? We all started out as “interns.” And in so many ways, we still are, and always will be. Keep on blogging! There’s still so much to share.


  30. Improve Credit
    Improve Credit says:

    Let’s look at interns for a minute. They usually are unpaid or grossly under paid yet in many cases they do the job better than a fully compensated employee. Why is this do you suppose? Could it be that they actually care?

    It has been my experience that interns are doing what they do because they like it, are interested in it and do care.

    I know that I have actually learned a lot from interns I was supposed to be teaching. Life’s funny that way.

  31. Kirsten
    Kirsten says:

    Thank you, once again, for giving me something to think about. I read your blog regularly … THANK YOU for your openness and honestly.
    ~ another Wisconsin gal

  32. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    “Intelligent people should can learn from anyone.”
    Is this a Midwestern expression or is it a New Yorkese construct? It reminds me of the “might could” that I have only ever heard from Southerners.
    I think people invent these ungrammatical word combinations because not all English verbs have easily used infinitives. In French, “should can” would translate to “devait pouvoir,” and “might could” would be something like “pourrait.”
    This is one of the only grammatical shortcomings of English I have come across in the past 50 years. (There are shortcomings in spelling and pronunciation, but we’re talking grammar here.)

  33. Don
    Don says:

    I agree you should be cautious about exit interviews but I really laid out many issues and their solutions at a place where I was senior person of 104 when I left. They listened,acted and I worked there a few years later in a very favorable position. You have to know they really want to improve.

  34. JenG
    JenG says:


    Great article. Of course, another reason to befriend interns/entry level folks is that they are the ones who actually get things done! As I’ve moved up the management chain myself, more and more people come to me for influence. But in fact, all I would be doing is asking a less senior person to do the very thing they are asking of me, which they could have done in the first place. Interns/entry level workers are definitely underrated!

    Also, I would LOVE it if you and Ryan did a webinar on self-promotion. I am lousy at it myself and need help from someone who doesn’t come off like a used car salesman.

    Lastly, thanks for the address. I’m happy to send you a copy of my book of poetry, Diary of a Cell, which was the winner of the 2004 Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize and includes several pieces read on Garrison Keillor’s A Writer’s Almanac. I don’t expect you to blog about it, but I do hope you’ll like it. It’s the least I can do for all the great information you share with the Brazen community!

    All the best,

  35. nadine
    nadine says:

    ” So, since you are quitting for a better job, you don’t need to shove it in peoples’ faces that you are moving up in the world and they are not.”
    I love this quote. A few years ago, an architect colleague of mine quit to start his own firm. I was quite happy for him – until he started strutting around saying things like “I knew I didn’t want to be an EMPLOYEE forever…” with an intonation that suggested that working for someone else was the worst thing that could befall a person.
    He didn’t take into account that a lot of us have no possibility of working for themselves for reasons beyond their skills and ambition. I had just finished treatment for cancer and have since discovered that I have metastatic cancer. How on earth could I afford health insurance – and be able to work through treatment as my own boss? And yet I’m managing a pretty large project now, so I believe that I’m somewhat able.
    He drops by his old office now and then to strut around and ‘network’. I usually take a walk. Ironically, I’ve been asked for referrals to a small architecture firm – and I’ve pointed NO ONE his way.

  36. dianna
    dianna says:

    just recently discovered your blog and have read as much as i can including sunday mail link. i am a 53 y/o icu nurse with a dreary life–probably because i have needed approval from people (on an emotional level, not the necessary logistical/social level) so maybe i can stand to be a little more aspberger-y if you will. stuck for financial and cowardly reasons in a crappy marriage i look to gain insight to step out more boldly to create a life that reflects–what? you’ve stopped reading already! (snkkkksnkkkkzzzzz)
    love you anyway.

  37. Karen F.
    Karen F. says:

    Hi Penelope. This is a great post about interns and the value they can add to your career and your business. It can be surprising how much we can learn from others (even if they are only starting out in the company). Every organization can be compared to a clock with many intricate parts, each with their own purpose and function; take one out and the whole thing can fall apart. Same is true with interns and our humble friends from maintenance and the mail room…they all may have small parts to play but they help keep the office running. :-)

    Looking forward to your next post.

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter if you need me)

  38. Ryan Geist
    Ryan Geist says:

    Hi Penelope! This is a great post because it paints an accurate picture of how life typically goes – meeting one person, who is somehow connected to another, and so on. It’s so funny… when people ask me how I met you, or Jun Loayza or Ramit Sethi or even Keith, I have to give the Cliff’s Notes version almost every time because the truth is that each one of those relationships has a full-on story behind it. And all are connected in some way.

    To Monica O’Brien’s point:

    “You didn’t write this explicitly so can I just add that good interns/entry-level workers are friends with all the other good interns/entry-level workers? So if you need to get to Keith Ferrazzi, check if your intern is friends with Ryan Geist. I bet they are. And if they aren’t, they will definitely have no problem calling him up to hang out.”

    I think that is absolutely something to be considered, and something that we were all told by our professors during college. At least I was. “Make sure you stay friends with your classmates, because this will be your network for the rest of your life.” People my age are now getting business development jobs (like myself), are running social media and marketing for startups and organizations, and in other words are now in much more powerful gatekeeper positions. From a macro perspective, it pays to penetrate this level of social networks to get things accomplished. Monica is approaching it like Keith would: if you need to get to someone, target the gatekeeper and get to know the PERSON. Pay it forward, and try to help that person as much as you can. Then, when you do need something, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

    Regarding the job title “intern”, it’s definitely not an accurate reflection of the roles anyone listed was playing. Does the term “intern” really matter to the discussion? I think it does, because it can paint an inaccurate picture of what’s needed from an organization to attract the quality of “interns” you listed above. We were all full-time employees working in a very entrepreneurial environment. So, it doesn’t offend me, but I do think the term “intern” carries with it certain expectations (in terms of pay, benefits, job responsibilities, etc) which may preclude a business from getting the quality of people they need to achieve the results you’re talking about.

    Regarding your self-promotion: I worked very closely with Sara to productize Keith’s content. I also know a lot of other authors/bloggers that are trying to do it. What I advise for you is to frame it in your own head not in terms of self promotion, but rather think that you are taking what you’ve created and repackaging it into a curriculum. Start to think of yourself less as a personality and more as an educator – a teacher – when you create the products. Keep in mind, though, that this blog should not be the home for your new products/repackaged content. This blog is what it is – don’t try to change it and experiment with recycling/packaging your content. Do that elsewhere, and TEST, TEST, TEST. Cross-promote from this blog, but don’t experiment here. It’s too risky. Check out Ramit’s scrooge strategy. That’s a good example, or Keith’s blog ( +

    Glad to hear you’re thinking of me. You must have felt your ears itching from the multitude of conversations I have about you. All good things, of course.

    Let’s catchup on the phone soon. And congratulations on your nuptials. I’m so happy for you.

    My best,


  39. groovecat
    groovecat says:

    “It's so difficult to be original.”

    no kidding. everything you said can be read in this book by tom hopkins (and yes, i know i’m using parenthesis and writing in no caps like ee cummings. and using direct, short sentences.).

    the only reason i read this blog is because of the salacious references to oral-sex and such. and miss P resembles an ex. freckles and all.



  40. Alice D.
    Alice D. says:

    On interns and younger people–always pay it forward. Even when you benefit enormously from a mentor, the best thing you could do is to repay that gift is to pay it forward via taking someone younger under your wing. Plus, you get the added narcissistic benefit of having someone think you’re important. “Mentees” listen to you babble on and now your scrambled life choices seem genius in hindsight.

    You should be really happy when interns/mentees actually go to different firms, or go on to be “more successful.” Then they provide invaluable networking opportunities and are more willing to help someone more senior versus finding new mentors that don’t have the time to deal with smaller fish. I have younger friends in all different firms, and it’s so easy to call them and ask them for industry tidbits. Much more fun than waiting by the phone for a senior guy to return your call.

  41. amber
    amber says:

    “But I realized that I actually like the process of writing. I don't like the process of reading what I already said. (I wonder, does anyone actually like that process? It seems solipsistic.”
    Hmmm, interesting. I am the exact opposite, hate the writing process, love the editing and rewriting. So it’s lucky they created a job category just for me – editor!

  42. Karl Staib - Work Happy Now
    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now says:

    As you already know, you are awesome. You do things the way you want to do them because it’s what feels right. By being so honest you’ve exposed your soul. Isn’t that what happiness is? When you can be your true self around everyone, not just friends and family, but everyone.

  43. John Volturo
    John Volturo says:

    Wow! I agree that the interns will rule the earth one day. I love to have interns work for me each summer when I get the opportunity. They’re bright, eager, connected to all things media and technology oriented and more confident than most of the more senior people I work with.

  44. Ruth Ortega
    Ruth Ortega says:

    Thanks for the very inspiring post. I agree with you. I experienced to be an intern before. My boss was very friendly and humble to us. Now, some of my intern’s mate are his worker’s and they are helping his company grow.

  45. bdogmama
    bdogmama says:

    I agree with the point that mentoring is also an opportunity to learn. In fact, I have a few former mentees who are an active part of my network and now quite successful.

    Also, having recently quit a job for a fantastic new one, I can tell how how easy it was to mentally prepare for the right way to quit. When it came time to do it, I embarrassed myself by being nervous, and foolishly thought I was doing the company a favor by sharing all my constructive feedback in an exit interview. I love the idea of the thank you note – very classy.

  46. keith Ferrazzi
    keith Ferrazzi says:

    I’ve so enjoyed your posts since I started following you years ago! In the next few months give me a shout and I’ll tell you about the new FG Academy. We started an internal intern consulting company that serves FG 50% of the time and is educated in our IP for 25% and does a group service projec the remainder of their time. Its an amazign model and gives the office such vibrancy. I’ve alwasy used interns going back to a newly minted kid out of B-School. Some of them are VPs at Goldman, Oscar Nominated writers, and Entertainment moguls and several published authors. Anyway, Ill give you the scoop on FG Academy when we come up for air post and KEEP UP THE AMAZING GIFT OF YOUR POSTS!!

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