With a two to three-month break from school, many of us choose to spend our time working a summer job to earn some money or an internship to gain resume-building skills. Coming from a casual high school setting, the professional environment of a job or internship can be a little intimidating. It’s not uncommon to leave a job feeling like you didn’t have an optimal experience, but fear not – this article is here to help!
1. Follow proper professional etiquette
No matter how menial your role may seem, you must always remain professional and follow proper etiquette, which includes but is not limited to being punctual, driven, respectful and well dressed. Abiding by these rules not only makes you a good employee/intern but also builds rapport with your supervisors and creates a reputation of being responsible, hardworking and dependable. This makes you a better candidate for possible salary raises and increases the likelihood that you will be hired again next summer.
2. Ask for help when you need it
The biggest realization you can have in a professional environment is recognizing when to approach your supervisors and ask for help. So many of us tend to overload ourselves, resulting in mediocre performance. One of the greatest things about having a job or internship is the people you have the opportunity to interact with. You are surrounded by co-workers and supervisors with years of knowledge and experience that you can learn from. Having the humility to recognize your own shortcomings and learn is what will separate you as an ideal employee.
3. Know if it's not right for you
We’ve all been there... you were hired for a job/internship and after a few weeks, it just doesn’t feel right. Maybe you don’t fit in with the other employees/interns or perhaps you realize that you don’t enjoy that line of work. The important thing to understand is that it’s always better to quit early and move on than to stay in a place you’re uncomfortable and deliver mediocre performance. In the case of quitting a job or internship, you first want to make sure you have a reason that warrants quitting. This decision will be made at your own discretion. Once you know you want to leave, it's time to be honest. Be open and clear with your supervisor about your reasons for quitting and remain respectful during the conversation. Remember that maintaining a good relationship with individuals in the workforce is extremely important for your future.
Using these tips, you can maximize your momentum as an employee/intern and set yourself up for a great future career!