I Had A Pretty Freakin’ Cool Job This Summer
My Summer Job Was Content-Creating in the Bahamas
At the end of this summer, I had the opportunity to be the social media and photography assistant for a yacht at a book and documentary release.
If that sounds a little out of the ordinary for a teenager’s summer job — you’re right, let me explain.
My mom does marketing for a couple businesses, including a yacht, which happened to be having an event promoting a book and a documentary, both about the swimming pigs in the Bahamas. (yes, I said swimming pigs but that’s another story for another time.)
Anyway, my mom needed someone to document the event, as well as get content for the yacht’s social media pages. She could have hired someone, but her and her boss decided that it would be very beneficial for me to go and see how businesses function. That ended up going pretty well because who better to assist with social media than a sixteen year old who THOROUGHLY enjoys Instagramming.
But anyway, without further adieu, this is what I learned:
1. You would not believe how much work goes into professional Instagramming
While I was in the Bahamas, I worked alongside people that create content as a profession. This is such an amazing concept to me because when I scroll through social media posts, I often forget that it’s literally someone’s job to produce the images you’re seeing.
Because of all the amazing sights to see in the Exumas and Nassau (a group of islands and an island in the Bahamas), it was common for me to see other people gathering their content in the interesting ways. One day, I witnessed a woman swim around in an evening dress for the sake of capturing the perfect shot. Another day, I saw some women wearing Little Mermaid-style tops come into the island bar to play pool. I later found out that they were returning from a day spent swimming in grottos for a mermaid themed shoot. Even I am guilty of doing risky things to get the best picture possible: including leaping off of the top of the yacht for the perfect GoPro video, and leaning off of the side of the yacht for a nice sunset shot.
Each content creator that I came across must have taken a million pictures before getting the one that they’re going to post. And that’s just to get one picture. And it hasn’t even been edited yet.
2. Adults are just like us! Kinda… not really
Being around so many adults and nobody close to my age was odd, to say the least. When I was a Counselor In Training at my summer camp, I got to work alongside my peers as well as my 20 year old co-counselors, so there wasn’t a drastic generational divide. On the other hand, when I did the content-creating for the yacht, everyone whom I worked side by side with was 35 or older.
If you show that you take your job seriously, they don’t see you as an immature kid, and aren’t treated like one. I’m not saying they considered me an adult, because I still have some maturing to do, but they did acknowledge that I did have a certain level of maturity. This means that a whole new world opened up for me: the world of adult behaviour when kids aren’t around.
I began to see weird parallels between the teenage world and the adult world and I’ve come to notice that they aren’t that different from us (the “youths”). In fact, I’m convinced that adults are just like us, just with a little more organization skills and confidence and A LOT more self control.
3. Networking is one of the best life skills you can have
At the book and documentary release event, I got to meet A TON of cool people. BUT you can’t really keep in touch and make connections with the people you meet unless you develop networking skills.
Basically, networking skills involve being able to engage in conversations, often with people you don’t know, and finding common ground to establish connections.
That might sound a little spooky to people that tend to be more introverted. As someone that rehearses their Starbucks order in their head, I get it. But I knew I had to push myself out of my comfort zone because networking can truly be the difference between working at a desk job for the rest of your life versus living out your dream.
You never know who you’re going to meet, and being able to network opens up amazing opportunities!
4. There is so much of the world we don’t get to experience
Staying somewhere where you equally likely to see a famous celebrity, prominent business people, or families just taking a normal vacation was so cool, because you’d never expect to see these people side by side. Celebrities and successful business people exist in a world that’s very separate from the general public, so seeing how they live and where they come to escape makes for an interesting sight to see, especially because most people never get to see the drastic step between upper middle class and the wealthy in real life.
Not to be that annoying person that goes on a trip and comes back with their whole world view changed, but I actually did get a better perspective on the world! I realized that I should be getting so much more out of my life. Everyone that I met during my trip actively takes advantage of their opportunities and lives every moment to the fullest extent, and that’s exactly something I should be doing.
Being on an island so far out from the mainland combined with meeting so many interesting people was surreal. It really made me appreciate the world, as a whole, a lot more.
Of course there were many other things that I took away from this experience but these were some things that really stuck out to me.
As a teenager, it’s really easy for me only focus on what’s in my immediate surroundings and daily life. Before working in the Bahamas, it was so easy for me to stress myself out about every little thing that goes on, like my grades, boys (…sigh), and my extracurriculars. But working with so many adults in such a remote location showed me how much stuff that I freak myself out about now won’t matter then.
Additionally, I got to learn what the heck being a “content creator” or an “influencer” actually entails. And it’s pretty cool and something I could 100% see myself doing.
Overall, this experience was just the push I needed to get into a healthy mindset as I transition from highschool to young adulthood.