Challenging Yourself in the Workplace


Don’t ever be afraid to challenge yourself. If I could narrow it down to one thing that I have learned from this internship it is that when you hold back you will not achieve success. Employees do not want to see an intern being timid; they want someone who shows initiative and interest in the work they do.

When you put yourself out there and show that you want to challenge yourself, your supervisor and employer will reward you.

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When I started my internship in advertising I did not have a clue what to expect. You could easily find me with my head buried into my laptop attempting to learn about the clients in the roster, but in reality you are doing yourself disservice if you don’t actively engage and challenge what you are used to.

Many of our supervisors have told us to “be a sponge,” and honestly that’s what you need to do to find success. Listen, ask questions, and engage with the work. Those are the 3 things you should do to challenge yourself.

Getting the internship should always be considered the “easy” part. Challenging yourself and putting yourself through real world problems and finding solutions to those problems; that’s where you learn how conquer the real world.

Rant over. Best of luck!

Ryan Delaney

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6 Responses to Challenging Yourself in the Workplace

  1. horsttyler says:

    I like what you said about how employers want someone to show initiative and interest what they do. From what I’ve seen, interns are often timid on the job and wait for their employer to tell them every single thing to do. If you really want to impress your employer or eventually work at the organization you’re interning off, I agree that it’s important to challenge yourself and take initiative.

  2. I also agree, being a sponge and really working to get the most out of this opportunity is how we will advance in our careers. It can definitely be tough at first to avoid being shy but once you get out of your shell and show them how interested you are you really will gain a lot. Great Post.

  3. andrewbantly says:

    While I think the phrase “in moderation” could be used in a post like this, I’m glad you didn’t. It’s more exciting this way. But I do think there are times to tackle new challenges and take risks, and there are times (especially as an intern) to be a ‘role player.’ Good stuff.

  4. Sam Cody says:

    I completely agree. The difference between a normal intern and an intern who gets an extended job offer is defined by the initiative and interest in the work they do. Not only does this attitude impress your employer, but it will help you grow as a professional. Listen, ask questions, and engage in the work — will do!

  5. alliejhardy says:

    Wish I could agree that getting the internship is the easiest part now that I’m job hunting… Sounds like you have made a good impression on your supervisors at your internship and it’s great that they already offered you a position there after your internship ends! Congrats.

  6. hmaarchive says:

    I think challenging yourself is definitely a good piece of advice- but as an intern, I think it’s important to know the time and place to take initiative on other projects. I think being open to a challenge and expressing your willingness to take on a new challenge.

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