If you recently landed an internship, congratulations! An internship is a great way for students or those making a career change to gain valuable work experience. Most internships are offered for a short period of time, so it’s important to make the most of your time.
It’s an extremely valuable opportunity to be able to learn from those who are where you want to be in the future. You’ll not only learn job skills, but you’ll also gain exposure to life lessons like how to work with people, how to take feedback, and what to do when you need help. Create your internship plan of action by following these practical steps for learning and growing.
- Know what is expected of you.
- Do what you say you’re going to do.
- Practice working with a team.
- Connect with others beyond your team.
- Always attend team-building activities.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Have a positive attitude.
- Work when you’re at work.
Know What is Expected of You
Before you begin your internship, be sure you know what tasks and duties you are expected to complete. If your manager doesn’t give this information to you, feel free to ask. Having a clear set of goals and expectations will set you up for success.
Do What You Say You’re Going to Do
This is a skill that most people learn the hard way. If you offer to complete a task by a certain date, it’s important that you follow through with that commitment. Don’t be afraid to ask for more time or for guidance. Your team would rather you ask for help than overcommit and fail to complete the task.
Practice Working with a Team
Collaboration is a valuable job skill that you’ll learn at your internship. Whenever possible, practice being a team player. This might involve jumping in when help is needed or backing off when it’s someone else’s turn to shine. Kindness and respect will go a long way with your team.
Connect with Others Beyond Your Team
It’s great to get to know the people you work with daily, but don’t let that deter you from getting to know other people. It might be as simple as smiling at someone in the hallway or saying hello in the coffee room. Be open to meeting and learning from all kinds of people.
Always Attend Team Building Activities
If your company offers fun activities during or outside of business hours, it’s in your best interest to attend if your schedule allows. Getting to know people in a more casual setting will only strengthen your relationship. This will also show others that you’re engaged and excited to be there.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Chances are you will make some mistakes. This is part of the learning process. Think about how you might do that thing different in the future. As long as you learn from them, mistakes are a good thing.
Have a Positive Attitude
Smile and be grateful for your opportunity. Energy is contagious. If you’re positive, others around you will quickly catch on and take notice. Plus, this is a simple act that goes a long way when it comes time for a performance review.
Work When You’re at Work
If you have to lock your phone in your desk to avoid distractions, that might not be a bad idea. When you’re at work, you should be working. Don’t be tempted when you see others checking their phones at their desk. Your team and manager will notice if you’re constantly looking at social media.
Did you know that Goodwill is a resource and partner for anyone seeking employment or a higher-paying job? By providing education, training, placement services, and other resources, we equip individuals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to secure sustainable employment and achieve self-sufficiency. Find out more about our mission and how we can help you with your job search.