You’ve spent a couple of weeks at your internship now, and now that you’ve avoided most of the first week pitfalls, you’re ready to get more exciting assignments and take full advantage of your internship experience. Last week, we here at 4E gave you some tips to make your first week awesome. Now, we’ll give you the tips you need to gain respect at the workplace.
1. Volunteer for things. Most internships are composed of primarily tasks fulltime staff members don’t want to or don’t have time ro perform themselves. So, they’ll often ask for assistance on less exciting or less important projects that still need to be done. Especially if you’re in an office with other interns or if you have extra time on your hands, volunteering for extra projects is the best way to get noticed.
2. Don’t be shy. One of the best ways to get to know your coworkers is by meeting them in the hallways, in the break room, at lunch or when you walk by their office. Instead of customarily nodding or waving at them, introduce yourself politely. A lot of interns fall into the pitfall of being “the intern” that no one knows, so get people to know your name as opposed to your title.
3. Don’t slack off. If you have a project, get straight to work. If you don’t have a project, ask for one quickly. Most interns aren’t well known in their offices because they don’t do a lot of work. They sit around dillydallying on Facebook, ESPN, Twitter or Pinterest as opposed to asking for other work. If you really don’t have anything to do, read the news or other relevant materials to your internship (like company reports, etc.).
4. Know your work as well as everyone else does. The hardest part about interning somewhere for one summer is familiarizing yourself with your employer and your employer’s work. Still, you work there, and you should try to get to know the issues as well as everyone else in your office. This means reading industry news websites, following similar organizations’ work and asking around the office to figure out what specific people are working on.
5. Show off (but not too much). Don’t be afraid to showcase you knowledge, your skill set and your Georgetown education. Just don’t make a big deal of it. Everyone else at the office will start to hate you if you do. But, if you can show your skills in a humble way, you’ll score major points with the office.
6. Learn names. Try to learn you coworkers’ names, and address them by name. It gives them an incentive to address you by name, as well.
7. Take notes and ask questions so that your work will be the best it can be. When you get an assignment, make sure that you know how to do it before you start. That way, you’ll turn out better work and you’ll start to earn respect in the workplace. The best way to earn respect at work is by doing something that deserves respect.
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