There’s one reason, and one reason only why we put ourselves through low paid or unpaid internships. It’s to build enough experience to get a job – and in an ideal world you’ll be offered a job with the company you’ve been interning for. Failing that, you need to ensure you do everything you can to get a glowing reference from them, which is what UK youth volunteering charity vInspired work to do with 18-25 year olds.
Your intern mission is to stand out, and stand out quick. Here’s vInspired’s 6 ways to make sure you get into your boss’s good books…and stay there.
1. Be on Time, All the Time
Being a stickler for punctuality is a basic requirement of any employee. If you don’t demonstrate that you’re capable of the basics, you won’t be trusted with any big responsibilities. That means the time you’re spending there becomes less valuable.
Take precautions to make sure you aren’t late. Get an earlier train in the morning to avoid commute delays. If you can’t avoid being late, call in and tell your supervisor.
2. Ensure You’re Always Busy
Prove that you are pro-active enough to assist your colleagues when your current tasks dry up. If you can see some filing that needs doing or a document that needs to be prepared, don’t wait to be told to complete it (though perhaps check you’re allowed to do it in advance). Getting on with something of your own accord shows that you are no time waster, as well as being an incredibly helpful person to have around.
3. Don’t Get Caught Slacking
To follow on from the above, getting caught doing a sneaky online shop or tweeting your mates is a very bad move. You may be able to convince your boss that the ASOS website opened on your screen “by accident”, but you can’t erase the footprints left by a string of tweets.
Avoid social media during work hours and, as above, make sure you’re too busy to be surfing the web at will. Then you can’t go wrong.
4. Be Positive
Working with grumpy people is the worst. It’s a sure-fire way to stick out for all the wrong reasons, and stops you from gelling with your colleagues.
Interviewers look for good personality traits just as much as skills and experience when hiring a person. So smile all the time, be talkative and make sure your workmates would hate it if you left.
5. Say ‘Yes’ to Everything
…Within reason, of course. Don’t give yourself a breakdown, but do take on extra tasks. Manage your time effectively so you can complete everything without letting your current tasks slip. If you’re given something extra that takes you out of your comfort zone, say yes but ask the delegator to go through the process with you before you start. This will avoid major mistakes from the off.
6. Be Professional
Even if you’re being given the naff jobs that no one else wants to do, respond to everything with the utmost professionalism. This includes addressing and signing off emails properly, using industry jargon and proof-reading your content. There’s nothing worse than looking lax about your work – treat it with pride.
Want a great way to work in your chosen industry and learn more about preparing for the world of work? vInspired have hundreds of opportunities for young people to gain experience.