90 Days

90 days ago, I took a job as an editor at an Integrated Marketing and Communications department for a large non-profit organization. There are different theories about how long it takes to settle in at a new job, but most people say it takes about 90 days.

If you learn something new every day, then I should have at least 95 things to tell you. However, I am not Martin Luther, and this isn't the door of a church in Wittenberg. Therefore, I compiled a brief list of the first three dozen things I thought, and they fit into three categories: skill (editing), relational (coworkers), and work ethic.


i'm not the expert
don't be afraid to ask
when you want to know something, go straight to the source
editing is not a one-and-done kind of job
the more you see something, the less you read it
[Insert lots of editorial mechanical jargon here about dos and don'ts]
learning is like putting tools in your toolbox. The more you know, the more you can do
positive energy inspires creativity. Negative energy quenches it
work with confidence, but always double (triple, quadruple) check
editing is rewarding
everyone can teach you something


social reality is best navigated in first person
never assume anything about anyone
never make someone feel ashamed of doing what they were told
you impact people in more ways than you know
someone is always watching to see how you handle things
trust is a two way street
some people aren't as funny as they think they are—others are more funny than they know
don't play favorites
don't talk all the time
choose your coworkers freely (you probably don't have a choice anyways)—choose your friends carefully

Work ethic:

work hard
do it right the first time
don't complain
there are two kinds of people in the world: people who go to work to work, and people who just go to work
employees work better if you tell them how well they're doing
the person in charge makes a big difference in the environment
the better you like something, the better you try to do it
work is not a contest
attitude makes all the difference
change isn't immediate
work with confidence, but always double (triple, quadruple) check
take pride in your work
using Pinterest and doodling all morning should not count as "Too busy to finish that for you this week"
being faithful in the little things gets you far in the big things

It's a different pace of life, and time and energy compete more than they used to—but it is worth it, for the learning.