Kaytlin Eldred (left) with Mayor Marty Walsh and fellow AmeriCorps VISTA Molly Dee

In honor of my 6th month anniversary at Boston Partners in Education, and as an AmeriCorps VISTA, here are 6 things I’ve learned in such a short amount of time.

1. Never say no.

In my experience, good things come from saying yes to projects out of your comfort zone. I’m using my VISTA experience to soak up as much knowledge as possible. Someone needs help moving an Excel file into Salesforce? I’m your girl. You need help leading a bed build? I got you. Someone needs help writing this blog? Pick me.

Now look at me. I’m basically a professional lifestyle blogger with mad Salesforce skills. My mom’s so proud.

2. Being stressed is a choice.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Know your limits, and communicate them with your coworkers.   

3. There are no failures – only learning opportunities.

If you’re new in a position, you’re bound to make mistakes. The letter you spent hours on may end up not being used. That’s just an awesome opportunity to perfect your writing skills.

4.You can’t please everyone.

You’re not peanut butter.

5. Office friends are important.

You can afford to spend ten minutes of your day talking to a coworker. It won’t kill you.

Everyone in my office has indirectly or directly mentored me at one point or another in these last six months. That would have never happened had I kept my head down at my desk and disengaged in conversation.  

6. “Fake it ‘til ya make it” is real. But also, ask questions.

Performing with false bravado is an art, one in which I happen to be a professional. I frequently get myself into situations where I know absolutely nothing about what I’ve claimed to be able to do. Google has become my best friend.

But, I’ve also learned when to phone a friend to ask the important questions, like: “I just agreed to print business cards but I’ve never printed business cards in my life. Why did I say that and what do I do?”

Kaytlin is a Development Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA who joins Boston Partners in Education through the Boston Cares VISTA cohort.