The Next Step


All of us PDXSXers have been on the job a few weeks now. We are beginning to Little-Boy-Superherounderstand the daily routine and thus, it is time to break our homebody habits and push ourselves these last few weeks.

1.  Look for ways to make what you’re doing better. Once you’ve figured out the lay of the land, it’s time to consider switching things up. Is there a more efficient way to accomplish your tasks? Try to come up with some ideas you would tell the next intern that make the job easier or more efficient. In my internship I came up with a new folder system I am using that separates emails by client. It’s a simple tool, but it is something I did to save time.

2.  Ask if there are new things you can help with.

If you feel comfortable with the tasks you are doing each day, ask if there is anything new you can help with. Ask to sit in on meetings with clients, or take notes during office meetings, or even print out information for presentations someone is doing. Asking to do these extra tasks will never hurt you. And what is the worse thing that could happen? They say no? Your employer will appreciate that you are willing to help out extra and probably give you something more challenging to test out. How to ask for more tasks without sounding expendable.

3.  Seize the opportunity to network…any opportunity.

When new things happen in the office, for example, a new client starts using your company’s services, ask if there is anything you can do for them. Ask to go to meetings so you can make more contacts. Always carry business cards. We might not have a title, or position yet, but having a business card handy is a great way to meet people and get your name in their hand… literally.

-Jaclyn Chelf

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10 Responses to The Next Step

  1. Great post Jackie. I totally agree on the inbox organization, I started doing this a couple weeks ago and it has made my life a lot simpler. What do we do if we don’t have our own business cards? I think networking is HUGE in this day and age. The connections we are making now could be a possible job opportunity later.

  2. Nick Smith says:

    Jackie, this is such great advice! I hate clutter on my computer, it doesn’t matter if it’s my desktop of my email inbox. I use folders for every client that is separated by task ( media list, news release etc). I am thinking about having some business cards made, but I don’t know what to put on them. Any suggestions?

  3. pdxsx says:

    Good suggestions, Jackie and I like that you give examples from your own experience too. I especially like that you encourage people to ask to help out. This is a key differentiator between those who DO get a job offer and those who DON’T. Make yourself invaluable.
    ~J

  4. littlebrittanyb says:

    Great advice Jackie! I recently asked my boss if I could start sitting in on more meetings and she was ecstatic that I even wanted to. This is also another great way to incorporate networking into your experience. Client meetings are an awesome place to reach out for contacts, like you said. Business cards are definitely a great way to get your foot in the door, and you never know when they will pull that card back out and call you.

  5. I always get nervous that I’m going to make myself annoying when I approach my supervisor and ask him all the time for more work. Sure enough, I went out of my comfort zone and they gave me something to write for the blog! I think that when we start getting comfortable at our jobs, that’s the time to make sure that we’re not getting into a rut and asking for other things to do and broaden your skill set.

    Great post!

    -Branden

  6. Summer Luu says:

    Jackie, I definitely agree, I think putting yourself out there and volunteering to take on opportunities that you know you can handle is a great habit to hone. My internship has recently taken me on more meetings and conferences with clients so that I can see how the back end works but more and more, I am finding myself to speak out my own suggestions and opinions on tasks and projects and my co-workers are certainly happy that I am doing that. So, I completely agree! Great insight, Jackie.

  7. andrewsch90 says:

    Jackie, this is some great insight. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I worry that I occasionally annoy my employer with all the questions and guidance I ask. Looking at ways to improve what you are doing better is some terrific advice. There is always room for improvement, and as interns, we should savor the free time we have and reflect on how we can become more efficient contributors to our offices.

  8. Jen says:

    I think the best thing, especially if you have time is to take ideas and make them reality – don’t pitch them first though. If there’s a new process, proposal, etc. take the time to document it and then present it forward. It will blow everyone away as no one was asking for it in the first place! it’s worked for me a number of times and it’s helped me advance through my career.

  9. kyliewray says:

    What a good post. I keep thinking that I really need business cards. I think I’m going to have to invest in at least a couple until I get a stable job. I went to an interview I was doing for a story the other day at Merylhurst University and my source took me around to a bunch of great people in the lunch room who all gave me business cards, and I really wished I had my own to pass out. However, I do now have a nifty little folder to keep all my business cards organized.

  10. Great post! I completely agree we need to take advantage of any opportunity we have. It will ALWAYS benefit you to network and make yourself known. As I have settled down, I have also found ways in which I can organize my work better. When I complete assigned tasks, I also ask for ways I can help. The other day, I stepped into the graphic design department and he gave me pointers and tips on formatting I did for a project. This ultimately helped my build upon my skills!

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