4 months as a Central Resources Intern: The importance of reflection and recognising growth

When I last spoke to you all, I was in my first couple of weeks at Construction Youth Trust and was getting to grips with my new role and working in a charity for the first time.

It’s quite hard to believe that 4 months have passed since that first post, as it has been a jam-packed period full of so many new professional experiences! These have included producing content for our social media platforms, helping with the charities recruitment processes, taking over the management of our laptop loan scheme and a whole host of other opportunities.

However, the topic of this blog post is more about our mindset when faced with new experiences and challenges, as opposed to the tasks themselves. Sometimes, especially when starting off in your career, it can be hard to celebrate your wins and reflect on your accomplishments. Like many, I am someone who hates being bad at a new skill and can have a tendency to focus on the mistakes I make as opposed to my successes. Going into this role, it was inevitable that there would be a learning curve for me given the diversity of new responsibilities as a Central Resources Intern.

What is so imperative when starting a new job is to not let ourselves be defined by our mistakes. Remind yourself that mistakes are natural and normal. Sometimes things don’t go to plan in the way we envisaged, and that is OK! I am culpable of getting wrapped up in mistakes and I have learnt that you should take a step back, breath and think about the bigger picture. It is our mistakes that allow us to learn and grow. In my first 3 months, every new task also came with a new skill to learn! When you’re learning new professional skills, putting them into practice instantaneously and then moving onto a new task, it can be difficult to pause and recognise your development. It’s a practice which I’m now realising is so important to your career and should be implemented sooner rather than later. Celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small!

As I reflect on the opening stages of my internship, I am proud of how much I have achieved and how much I have matured professionally in that short time. The structure of my internship has meant that I am constantly learning, and with every task that I take on, I also feel as though I am adding a new skill to my arsenal. Whilst it may be daunting at first, it is our challenges which ultimately develop us the most and I am excited to see the kind of professional I will be when I finish the 12 months.