I spent the last week in New York getting acclimated to my new journalistic home — The Associated Press. I am overwhelmed, exhausted, exhilarated, excited and oh-so-grateful to have landed there.
How to describe it? I feel like we’re leading a revolution, reminding me of a certain passage from Les Miserables:
“Who will join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade, is there a world we long to see?
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!”
At the AP, moving toward that tomorrow is happening today.
A few lessons I learned in the first week:
1. I know nothing.
2. Really, I’m not just saying that. I know nothing.
3. I must have enough confidence in myself to stand up for the few things I do know.
4. I must not be intimidated by the name “The Associated Press.” I must do good work and express my opinions, just thinking of it as a job.
5. I must read every piece of documentation I can to understand the resources available to me.
6. I must talk to as many people as I can to pick their brains.
7. I must never underestimate my love for having all my Manhattan lunches on the AP expense card.
8. Working in NYC sounds glamorous, but it’s still just working in a building, like in DC, LA or Chicago. Related: my 28th floor hotel skyline view was amazing.
9. When meeting top management, I should have something intelligent to say.
10. If I freeze when meeting top management, and have nothing to say because I am overwhelmed, I should tell them that, and they will understand and we will find things to discuss anyway.
11. I must not be intimidated by the knowledge of others.
12. I must try new things without someone telling me to do so.
13. I must feel free to speak my mind, but also recognize that saying something is no good, without a feasible alternative, is unhelpful.
14. I must realize that we all share the same goals, and everyone is equal parts nice and busy.
15. There’s always breaking news. Always. It does not usually break by having the ground rumble underneath you, but this does happen. Related: Every week is a busy news week.
16. The greatest mistake I can make is to not have an idea. I find this unlikely to be a problem.
17. Geographical distance can be surmounted with excellent communication.
18. I must open my mind to learn five new things before breakfast.
19. I know nothing, but know more than I did the previous week.
20. I love my job. Passion can get you somewhere, skills get you the rest of the way. Trust, resources and potential are a fantastic trilogy. I love my job.
21. I must remember to never stop learning and sharing, within and without my organization, just because I am here. I must never, ever become complacent.