Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Internships, Jobs and Careers: Tell the Truth – It Can Save a Great Deal of Time

In an internship/job situation, telling the truth often makes things go much easier. And here’s the example of this that I want to share with you:

For the last two days I’ve been trying to launch an online information product website. There are some problems between the html coding of my website designer in Canada and the html coding of the company providing the shopping cart function of the website.

From the emails of my website designer – who I think is very talented – I knew English is probably not his first language (I’ve never spoken to him on the phone). So when I emailed him that my shopping cart company wanted to talk directly to him, he balked at doing this. Instead he tried to figure out what to do and then sent an email to the company.

After 24 hours of not getting anywhere, I realized that he probably didn’t want to speak to the shopping cart company because of his unsure command of English. But he didn’t want to tell me this because of potential embarrassment. (There’s nothing to be embarrassed about – I’m lousy at every foreign language I’ve ever tried to learn.)

With this realization, I called support of the company myself, and the support person with whom I spoke was incredibly helpful (thanks Rachel at Even though I don’t know how to do html coding, by asking the right questions and getting the right answers, I was able to get the needed information to give to my website designer.

The moral of this story? If your boss gives you an assignment and you don’t understand it or have a problem with it, do NOT spend hours trying to figure out what to do. Ask for help. In most cases your boss will be thrilled you let her/him know right away, thus saving a great deal of potentially wasted time.

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