It’s not easy being an intern. You know the drill; you end up with piles of work that you need to finish in a short amount of time, and most of the time, you do it without any payment. Most interns don’t really mind working unpaid internships, and for the most part we do it solely for the great experience. But what if you’d like to turn your internship into an actual job?
It’s not as hard as you might think, I did it myself and found it to be much easier than I expected and entirely enjoyable.
Show your Commitment
Just because it’s an unpaid internship doesn’t mean you can come and go as you please and not be as productive as everyone in the office, that itself is a huge faux pas at the workplace. In reality, if you want to be offered a job at the end of your internship you need to work just as hard, if not harder, than everyone else at the office. This can showcase your excitement and commitment to your employers’ organization and have them realize that you’re an active participant with plenty of energy and stamina, and that can come in handy.
Don’t be afraid to make friends with your coworkers. I understand you may feel shy, and that’s okay! I was shy during my internship, too. The trick is to fake it till you make it, and that has helped me on one too many occasions. Hold your head high, put on the biggest smile and say good morning to the people you pass on your way to your desk in the morning. You will leave a lasting impression on them and have them warm up to you. Eventually, this will help you become part of the company culture much more easily, solidifying a position for you within their hierarchy.
Something that definitely wouldn’t hurt your position is taking initiative at the workplace. Regardless of the department or occupation you’re interning for, it would be in your favor to think of ways you can add value to the company. For example, if you’re an intern at the marketing department, think of new marketing strategies and ideas that can help the organization do better. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and learn more in the process, the best education comes with practice. This particular trait can greatly affect your employers’ perception of you, and the enthusiasm you show could be the kind of energy he or she is looking for.
Humility has no place at work, especially during an internship. You must unapologetically own up to your achievements and skills. An internship is like a trial test where you must showcase just how valuable you are to the organization and whether you have potential to advance up the corporate ladder. When you work on a particular project with a team of employees, own up to your contribution in the project while equally giving credit to others where it’s due; being confident and being cocky are separated by a very thin line so tread carefully. If you are not confident in yourself when you first join an organization you can easily become background noise and dismissed as inferior to the remaining employees, which is what you need to avoid.
However, owning your talent and skill in the workplace, having frequent conversations with your superiors, and facing challenges head-on will solidify your position as an equal to other employees surrounding you.