JOB HUNT / 15 September 201710 Best Cities For Young Professionals Seeking Work-Life Balance
Looksharp, formerly known as InternMatch, brings new energy to the process of finding jobs and internships for college students and professionals. This week we had a chance to talk with Nathan Parcells, Cofounder of Looksharp.
Tell me about your first job.
My first job was in retail. I worked at a mom and pop tennis and running store outside of DC. I showed up bright and early on my first day only to find my boss in the storage room brutally hungover from the night before’s Redskins football game. My boss immediately sent me out into the store to help fit customers for shoes.
First Lesson: No matter what your first few days on any job or going to be rough around the edges, sometimes it’s better to jump in and make a few mistakes than to wait to be perfect.
Second Lesson: Never underestimate anyone you meet on the job. My boss, despite being incapacitated, was incredibly good at her job. She had a watchful eye and gave me advice after each customer interaction I had. She let me make mistakes but would kindly correct me (without making me look bad in front of the customer) if need be. She would also break down each customer interaction after the fact to help me learn. My second job was an internship at the National Parks Conservation Association. This was an office job and where I learned that most boss’s set a low expectation for interns and entry-level hires. I would knock out each project assigned to me in half the time my boss expected and I was quickly ramped into much harder and more challenging work. Third Lesson--Always exceed expectations. It’s the fastest way to gain respect on the job.
When you’re stressed, what’s the best way to relieve yourself?
Stress is a natural part of any job. You go from school where you have a variety of classes and varying workloads to having to put in long hours day after day, week after week, and year after year. For me the best techniques to deal with stress or those advocated by Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins and a number of other leader who deal with consistent high stress in their jobs--meditation and self reflection. I take 10 minutes at the end of every day to reflect on what I did well and what I did poorly. If I find that I am over stressing my work I try to figure out why and remove those variables.
If you had to give your 20-year old self advice, what would it be?
If I could give my 20 year old self any advice I would tell that person to start meditating. Meditation isn’t about calming yourself it is about focus. What do you want to accomplish with your life, your career and each day. My taking the time to organize these thoughts you create more space for yourself to enjoy each and every day and achieve ambitious goals.
What’s your spirit animal and why?
My spirit animal is the black mamba. Snakes are often viewed as scaly and gross (but they are not!), they are ancient, and they exist in all environments and geographies. Super adaptable and Harry Potter was a parsel tongue.
Donuts or bagels? Porque?
Neither donuts or bagels! Both are big carb circles. I start my morning with blended up kale, berries, almond butter and almond milk. Way better.
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