I’m a firm believer in rewards for hard work; it’s ingrained into our nature to work for some form of approval. Randy Alcorn, founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries, summarizes the natural (and God-inspired) human desire for rewards with the alliterative phrase “pleasures, power, and possessions.” Think of it: all human pursuits, good and evil, can be summarized by the motivation for one of those three end-goals. Often times, intangible rewards (i.e., pleasures & power) far outweigh tangible rewards (i.e., possessions). Forward-thinking interns and #1 workers (the phrase I use for our Assistants & Coaches to describe an initiator) know this and work hard despite limited, if any, immediate rewards.
I can relate to Colin Revere’s unpaid internship this fall. In 1991, I initiated a summer internship as a producers’ assistant at WCCO Radio. I worked eight hours a day, three days a week all summer and extended my service sporadically through the fall. Possessions? The only pay I received was for supervising the broadcast center for seven weekdays at the State Fair; the only gifts (gratefully received) were a dual cassette player and a Christmas dinner. However, power and pleasures were my main motivation at ‘CCO: I received “real-world” experience in rubbing shoulders with world-class radio talent and guests, with supervisory experience leading to my manager position at KIDS Club in Edina. I also had the satisfaction of writing “Good Neighbor” radio scripts, setting up entire show line-ups of guests, and being commended by the news director, producers, and my supervisor. It’s said “the best things in life are free;” by the same token, I believe some of the best experiences in life are unpaid now but will pay dividends (pleasures, power, and/or possessions) later.
As I looked for work coming off of my unpaid internship and college graduation in ‘91, my brother, Tom, advised me to not worry about making money; “work hard, and the money will follow.” That’s good advice, and I try to pass that along to my coaches, assistants and members through my actions and my words. Life experience (and the satisfaction of a job well done) trumps immediate tangible rewards. Keep working hard: in school, work, juggling, and life. One never knows who is looking or how it will be of benefit, in any number of ways, later on Earth and even in eternity on the New Earth.