Time flies when you’re having fun! August 9, 2012

By Andrew Matt

When we’re kids, we dream of being astronauts, firefighters, actors, pro athletes, rock stars or maybe the president. As childhood whirls by and the real world gets closer, most of us begin to be more realistic and just cross our fingers that we will actually end up enjoying our career.

I can’t even begin to say how much I’ve learned in the past 10 weeks while interning here at Open Channels Group, but the most important thing I’ve learned is that I chose the right field. I could make a way-too-long-to-put-in-this-blog list of things I’ve learned this summer about succeeding in PR, but those skills wouldn’t matter if during my internship I found that PR wasn’t for me. Not only have I gained invaluable experience and sharpened skills that will serve me for the rest of career, but I’ve had the time of my life!

Sometimes a lot of us forget that work can be FUN! Business world blasphemy, I know. Work and fun co-existing? Impossible says the C-suite! It doesn’t have to be that way though, and for the sake of your own sanity if nothing else, it shouldn’t be. This radical idea is gaining its strength from my generation as our priorities continue to shift away from those of our parents.

I come from a generation often referred to as the Millennials, but some are even calling it the Lost Generation. We are coming of age during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Last year, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic said, “a crisis that started in the housing market could wind up having the most lasting negative impact on the one generation that didn’t own any homes before the bust.”

Those in my generation are struggling to find good jobs, get married, become homeowners, and start families like never before. The hallmarks of success from the generations of our parents and grandparents are unattainable for many. However, there is something that we can offer to each other, and to past and future generations: a new definition of success… happiness.

Many of us still want the high salary and the fancy house, car and quality education, but we’re willing to put those on the back burner as long as we’re HAPPY, as long as we ENJOY going to work every day even if we only come home to ramen noodles or macaroni and cheese… that we eat in our room in mom and dad’s basement.

It is because of this reality that my internship experience here at Open Channels Group has been such a blessing. I got to do work that I found enjoyable and fulfilling, while working with an amazingly-talented, helpful and fun team. And they are successful in a sense that spans generations. They have attained the traditional hallmarks of success while being happy too.

So, the next time you go to work, remember to smile! As you try to make a living, don’t forget to make a life. Some are saying that happiness will be my generation’s definition of success, but it is something we should all strive to achieve. Hopefully you are doing what you enjoy, but no matter what try to enjoy what you do. If we’re going to dedicate 40, or 50 or 60 or however many hours of our week to something, make it meaningful, no matter how challenging that may be.

Spoken like a true Millennial, I know, but seeking a career that provides some happiness and fulfillment is a goal we can all share.

I find it hard to believe that my time at Open Channels Group for the summer has come to an end. It has been an incredible experience! I’ve learned so much about how to succeed in PR while working alongside people who have shown me that success and happiness can go hand in hand. So this is a sincere thank you to everyone at OCG that taught me countless lessons about working in the industry, but most importantly, for teaching me to never stop smiling. And that’s something that money can’t buy.

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