My first real job lasted eight years. I was not in the same role for that whole time. It was a fast growth company and as things grew and evolved I was thrown into different responsibilities.
I can’t tell you that I loved every day because I didn’t. There were many days when I felt like I was in way over my head. But armed with a high capacity for action (I was younger then) and a sense of humor, I managed.
It was during that time that I learned exactly where what I liked and what I was good at intersected. That became the jumping off point for the rest of my career.
When I was in the middle of all that work and craziness, I certainly did not think of it as an internship. No way. It was serious. It was my life.
I think about all the things I got to do and try and how often I draw on those experiences now and it amazes me. It really was like an internship albeit for eight years.
If you look back at the jobs you have had, can you find an intense learning period? I am not talking about learning lingo and product specs. I am talking about real business learning: customers, innovation, process and all that stuff.
It’s a long weekend. Give this some thought while you are napping or walking off your turkey dinner. These are the kind of stories you will need for your next job interview. You’ve got the experience. Get ready to talk about it.