“The Intern” is a witty, feel-good movie about a retired widower, Ben, and his unlikely new career and friendship with his boss, Jules, who also happens to be the CEO of a major fashion blog. The movie follows the path of Ben and Jules’ relationship as she slowly starts to realize the value in him – and herself – as they each walk through tough business and personal choices.
Although the movie itself is entertaining, it also shares a deeper message about the importance of versatility in the workplace. At first, Ben went unnoticed by a cynical Jules who felt Ben’s position as a temporary intern was an act of charity. Ben recognized that even without direction from the hesitant Jules, he could still make a difference in the office by taking initiative and being versatile. From giving wise advice to tidying up a desk no one wanted to clean, Ben demonstrated the value he brought to the company through tasks outside of his role.
In the real world, it’s important to remember the power of differentiation through presentation. Ben presented himself as a hard worker, difference maker, and valuable employee despite Jules writing him off as an old guy with no skills. As a student who has been an intern more than a few times, I believe that Ben’s approach to interning is something everyone can apply in the workplace.
Whether you’re an intern or a CEO, being versatile never goes out of style. As we saw in “The Intern,” adding value to a company, team, or project can often lie in the tasks you’re not asked to complete. From the most menial chores all the way up to big assignments, the value of your role is what you make it.
We should all be more like ‘the intern.’ We should all pursue versatility — doing what we can to add value to those around us, no matter the task. In the workplace, being a useful, innovative mind is something that never lingers unnoticed. As Ben would say, “Experience never gets old.” By contributing outside of your traditional role or duties, you are relaying a timeless testament to work ethic and a strong indicator of versatility.
How could you apply the power of versatility in your everyday role? Comment below!