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What a Newb

Posted on 6.03.2014

By Derek Schou

Being a millennial in the workforce has been an interesting experience so far.

Before my first day here at Website Magazine I was confident in my abilities and my vast (or so I thought) knowledge of today’s technology. Now, at the close of my second week I can confidently say that I greatly overestimated myself.


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When I first stepped through the door and into our office as a new college grad, I was not only confident that my technical skills were at an elite level but also that my writing skills could rival those of any seasoned journalist. I was an honors student in college and had also created several websites from scratch. I thought that because of these prior experiences I was going to step into this position and immediately excel. My high soaring confidence was shattered quickly after my first editing session with Editor-In-Chief Pete Prestipino.

As soon as Pete pulled up my first article I saw the smile fade from his face. Pete marked up the article like no professor ever had. To say it was soul crushing wouldn’t be too far from the truth. This process continued for most of the first week. Some articles were better than others, but I could tell that I still had a long way to go. At the end of week one Pete asked me to do one thing over the weekend – find my confidence.

After spending my Saturday and Sunday searching the Web with the keywords I had learned from my first week in the real world, I realized that while I certainly have knowledge about today’s technology, it doesn’t even begin to compare to the real experts in the field. I came to the harsh realization that everything I had learned up to this point just put me on the starting block in a 100-mile race.

The most shocking lesson so far has been how little I really know about the complexity of running an online business. My prior experience led me to think that my knowledge of all things related to website creation and management was fairly advanced, not expert level, but close. Thankfully, when I went in to talk to Pete about my confusion he wasn’t mad or disappointed but happy. He was happy because by asking questions he knew that I wanted to learn, that I wanted to become better at my job. The best part was that I wasn’t just learning from behind a computer screen but from an actual expert.

Before my time here comes to an end I have three main goals. The first is something that I feel every journalist strives for, to improve their writing. The second and third are to master the two areas that confuse me the most, affiliate marketing and domain names. These two subject areas are far and away the most confusing to me but that is also what makes them the most intriguing. In order to increase my knowledge of both of these subjects I know I’m going to have to ask questions, a lot of questions, and I’m OK with that.

Millennials like to think that they are already experts in fields they are passionate about. The truth is they’re not, I’m not. What I am, however, is someone who has a desire to learn and the courage to admit that I need help at times. So if a millennial musters up the courage to come to you with a question remember, they are just beginning their 100-mile race, don’t knock them off at the starting block.

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