For the past three months, I have been the girl behind many of the niche movement’s blog posts, niche list emails, and social media activity. I have loved contributing the message that the niche movement promotes of finding your niche and loving your job- it truly is a huge component of life happiness and fulfillment. Frequently, our posts urge readers and followers to find their niche and love their job and seek career fulfillment. In trying to apply these ideas to my own experience as an intern, I realize that these steps are crucial in getting the most out of your work experience:
1. Make a to-do list. It might sound simple (and possibly obvious) but having a running to do list is my savior in terms of staying on task and managing my time. Even if you are given a task that you think you will remember, write it down, it can only benefit you and the alternative of forgetting something that you have to do is way worse. I also find that constantly maintaining a to do list prevents procrastination. No one ever wants to look at a long laundry list of tasks to complete so by writing everything down, you will feel motivated to check items off of your to do list as soon as possible. Plus, this will completely avoid that overwhelming feeling of having to get ten things done in twelve hours because you didn’t leave enough time- unfortunately, we’ve all been there and its definitely not fun.
2. Communicate with your co-workers. Constantly checking email and texts may be frowned upon by professors and at family dinners but it is so important for internships. Don’t be afraid to contact your boss or superior with a question and don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand a task that you are assigned. Also, regular communication via technology is crucial in this day and age and allows you to get more work done more effectively and efficiently than would be possible with simple face-to-face communication- which, don’t get me wrong, is still very important.
3. Be friendly. Being upbeat and engaged while you are at your internship makes it more enjoyable for you as well as the people you are working with. Ask about their day, the recent vacation they took, or how their holiday break was. Being approachable with you co-workers and superior can go a long way in both your job satisfaction and theirs and make the overall work environment even more pleasant.
4. Self evaluate. We all have strengths and weaknesses within our given job description and it is important to recognize and accept that. While you may not complete every task perfectly, or there may be a glitch in the system, or you just did something flat out wrong, learn from your mistakes. You can use them to perform better on your next task and in future job experiences. Evaluate your own performance and focus on the things that you might not be so great at while still being successful at other aspects of your job. This way, your internship can be a dynamic learning experience in which you improve and grow, rather than work on a simple task-to-task basis.