Part of our mission here at Daily Fuel has been to illuminate life and early career insights for our readers. As part of that continuing purpose, we're excited to announce our new blogger, Christian Zilko, will be providing first-person accounts into one young professional's journey. Enjoy.

Wild Card

Some days I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the arrangement we have going on here. And by some days, I mean almost all of them.

I’m a 21-year-old who can count the number of jobs I’ve held on one hand. Yet here I am, writing what amounts to a professional development column. The laws of statistics assure that virtually all of my readers are more successful than I am. Twice a week I stumble into some kind of lesson and, possibly after connecting it to some classic rock album, try to present it in a way that makes it seem like new information.

Before I branch out and begin to offer leadership advice, I just wanted to let you all know that I’m fully aware of how ridiculous this can be. Of course, you’re still reading this, so something must be going right. Just making sure we all understand each other. I’ll ignore the absurdity for as long as you do.

I’m putting the finishing touches on a fiction podcast that I wrote and produced (it premieres at the end of June, and you can be certain I’ll be promoting it like no tomorrow on here). All that I needed was a tiny bit of music. There was an awkward length of silence that had to be filled, but the strange amount of time meant that no existing music would work. I needed to have something composed, and I couldn’t think of the right person to do it. I know a few composers, but none of them had the right sense of humor.

So I thought of a friend of mine who’s primarily an actor, but fancies himself a musician on the side. He was already appearing in the show as a performer, but he’s never done anything in the realm of podcast scoring. However, I thought his sense of humor might be right (and I didn’t feel like finding someone new), so I took a chance and asked him to do it. Worst case scenario, if he’s a disaster, then I could find someone new. It would just be procrastination.

This was a month ago, and this week he finally turned in his music. It turned out great. Something I considered a logistical formality became one of the funniest parts of the episode. His creativity, combined with his determination to prove himself at a new task, elevated the assignment to a level that I couldn’t have imagined.

I delegated the job to somebody who may not have been qualified on paper, but has strong creativity and an enthusiasm for excelling at new things. I picked a wild card instead of the obvious choice, but it provided an edge that I didn’t know my project was missing. I wish I could take more credit for this, as the choice was made out of necessity. But it taught me the importance of allowing people to swing for the fences. Give somebody a chance to grow, and everyone involved can benefit.

Christian Zilko

Guest Blogger:

Christian Zilko

Quote left
The only safe thing is to take a chance.
— Mike Nichols
Quote left