This is part two of a two-part series from Biz Kid$ host Austin Siedentopf. Read part one here.
The second big difference between adults and kids is in how you have to handle being mature. When you are a mature kid, when you are courteous, and pay attention and try your hardest, people will compliment you on your maturity. You stand out from all the other kids. But when you’re an adult, mature behavior is expected the moment you walk into your workplace. Adults have to be mature all the time and being mature won’t even make you stand out anymore! That kind of sounds like a drag, but I’ll tell you why it’s not.
Being mature doesn’t mean that you can’t mess up or have fun. You’re still allowed to make mistakes; smart people make mistakes all the time. And I’ve had tons of fun producing television at UWTV! I’ve found that the key to maturity is in loving what you do so much that you just have to give it your all. If you really love your job, then working hard, being patient, and all the other elements of maturity should come naturally.
Being mature also has another awesome effect, and boy was it startling for me. One day I realized that everyone I work with, all these other adults, are my peers. I feel equal to them. It’s almost as if being mature is like wearing a big badge that reads “ADULT.” And when you’ve got this badge on, it’s suddenly like you’re in a club for grown-ups.
I remember first feeling like I was in the adult club when I was taking notes at a meeting. Taking notes is not a super-important job, so I tucked myself into the corner of the room, away from all of the adults and their important discussion. At a certain point in the conversation something was brought up about students. Our station’s general manager, the head of UWTV, turned to me and asked for my opinion, because I am a student. I vividly remember everyone else in the room turning to look at me so they could listen. Staring back at them, I haltingly said what I thought to my new coworkers, and they really seemed to think my opinion was valuable. We talked about what I had said for a good five minutes and I realized that my thoughts had a meaningful impact on that meeting. I walked out feeling like I had valid contributions to bring to the table. I was a part of the team; I didn’t feel like just some kid. And you know what? That is empowering. Being mature is empowering in the same way.
Some of this stuff might seem obvious. But like I said, there’s a huge difference between knowing and doing. As you grow up and mature, you may start to feel some of these things for yourself, and I wish you all the best of luck navigating the world of adulthood!
Thanks for being patient and reading some of my thoughts about growing up and working hard. I’m still trying to sort through a lot of this in my head and I’ve got whole lot left to learn. Hopefully I’ll have something different to post soon. Until then, take it easy, Biz Kid$!