I think most people would agree that the first couple of weeks at a new job can be a very stressful time. Being a new intern is no different; in some ways it’s worse. Internships are unnerving in general, but there are a few things you can do to help ease into the new position. Here is a list of a few things I’ve learned.
Be friendly: This can be a fine line to walk. You don’t want to be chatty to the point it distracts from your work or the work of others, but take a few minutes each day and talk with your coworkers. Try to get to know the people behind the professionals.
Show up early: Just because your office opens at 8:00 a.m. doesn’t mean you should be walking in at eight. In general, the 15 minute rule has worked very well for me. If you’re not 15 minutes early, you should feel like you’re late.
Don’t be afraid to fail: This is the hardest part for me. I am a perfectionist in the truest sense of the word; however, failing is part of the learning process. You’re simply not going to step into a new position and do things perfectly right away. Accept that and learn from mistakes.
Take pride in your work: This is something I learned from a great friend of mine. It is more important to have the work done correctly than to have it done fast. Having to go back and correct simple mistakes will not only waste your time, it will waste your coworkers’ time.
As interns, it is our job to learn from the wealth of knowledge our coworkers have to offer; making sure we can get along within the work place and company environment is just half the battle. Whether prospective interns or seasoned business leaders, professionals know these principles are firm footing for any career ladder.
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