These 10 tips comes from my husband, Mr J, who has managed several interns in the past decade, even starting as an intern himself for a multinational corporation. He’s seen some good interns and those with potential who end up learning bad habits and get their career started on the wrong foot. If you are an entry level professional or intern, don’t be like the latter and use these tips to start your career with success.
1. Be Professional
If you’re an intern, chances are you don’t have much prior experience so you have a lot to prove! The first error is going on Facebook, StumbleUpon, and other social media sites during working hours. I would even avoid going on Facebook during the lunch hour to go the extra length. PS: Don’t get drunk at company parties.
2. Don’t Imitate Bad Habits From Other Employees
First tip was don’t go on Facebook, but chances are you will see some full time employees (even your boss) checking out their Facebook account or slaking around here and there. This may not seem fair, but that doesn’t mean you can do it as well. Maybe your full time counterparts have had excellent success stories so their boss may forgive them or indeed the boss is fully aware of their shenanigans and is ready to fire them. The point is, it’s not your business and it certainly shouldn’t be an excuse for you. Also, be sure to keep personal calls during the lunch hour, use your personal phone only, and keep private appointments to a minimum.
3. Show Initiative
You don’t have much experience but showing that you want to be involved on a project shows initiative. Taking initiative without asking your boss what to do everyday shows a level of responsibility and growth that could lead to a job offer at the end of the internship.
4. Be Humble
You’re ready to take over the world and put into practice what you’ve learned in theory with all of the latest and best techniques. Not so fast! While you may be eager, you may also be cocky. Your boss may not have been in school for the past ten or 20 years, but hands on experiences trumps theory. Instead of trying to teach your boss what you’ve learned in a book, work with him or her on how some things can be done differently. Just do so with caution. Also, you may get boring or small projects. Don’t complain, it’s OK to start small.
5. Be A Team Player
Being cooperative with everyone and getting to know others from different departments shows curiosity and will make your job easier when you will need help. People will notice you more and they’ll be willing to open more doors for you when you look for a full time opportunity.