After most people graduate, there comes the sudden realization – that was the easy part. Now you have completed your education from either a university or a TAFE institution, finding a job afterwards is the most challenging part. Days of searching on the internet, connecting on LinkedIn and completing countless applications, unfortunately, becomes a daily routine for many.
Many first time job seekers are unaware of how competitive today’s job market can be. Finding an internship that accepts new graduates is one of the very best ways to get your foot in the door of your desired career, to make contacts, collect references and most importantly, experience. Although your internship may only be 3 months long, with a little hard work and a little luck you may be offered your first full time position. Follow these tips to help your efforts in turning your internship into a full time position and start planning your career today.
As an intern, you are usually one of the youngest in the office, although ensure you are not treated this way. Always remain professional and mature, you can still have fun and make jokes but avoid talking about drunken antics on the weekend or any other inappropriate stories. If your co-workers view you as responsible they will trust you with more projects.
Starting a new job is difficult for everyone, especially as an intern. It is important you put yourself out there and make the extra effort to get to know your co-workers. This can be done in many little but effective ways, for instance, working in communal areas will ensure you meet as many new people as possible. Another great opportunity to meet co-workers is at company events, attending happy hours and other office gatherings.
Go Above And Beyond
Although this may seem an obvious way to impress you should always ensure you do more than what is expected. Prove to other employees that you are eager to learn more, take on extra work and ultimately, increase your skills and experience. Another employable skill is your ability to take initiative. If your manager is busy, they will not have the time to constantly check or guide you. Always try and find something to do, if you finish early ask your manager for another task. This simple gesture speaks volumes about your work ethic and shows a willingness and eagerness.
Work With Everyone
Try to work with people other than your direct supervisors or other interns. Try your best to support as many people in the office as you can. If your manager is thinking about hiring you full time, there is a high chance they will ask others around the office for feedback. Interacting with various people around the office means they can vouch for your hard work or even your eagerness to help.
Assess Office Culture
Every office has a unique office culture. Take your time to assimilate and figure out the culture. If your colleagues are quiet and work long hours, you should not play loud music and leave early every day. Although if you find yourself unhappy with the office culture, remember this means the company may be a wrong fit and you should find the right company with the culture that fits you personally.
Ask The Right Questions
If you receive a task, do not be afraid to ask for clarification if the directions were unclear. Before you ask, make sure the answer is not obvious or can be found in your office training manual. You don’t want to make the task any more difficult than it has to be and make them regret giving you this task. Ensure you follow instructions properly, attention to detail is a critical skill because it displays to employees you are trustworthy no matter what the task.
Ask For Feedback
After a month or so into your internship, ask for a performance review. This will give you the opportunity to improve and figure out if there is anything else the company is expecting from you. Be open to advice from your superiors as they are there to guide you on how to improve, and remember it is good to want to grow professionally. Prove to your manager that you want to improve the company’s overall success as well as your own success.
Express Your Goals
Once you have received your feedback, remember to be upfront about your goals at the company. By expressing early on that you wish to be hired full time, your managers will have you in the back of their minds when that position becomes available.
Timing is key. Always keep an eye out for any full-time positions that may become available. If there are not any vacancies when your internship finishes make sure you leave on good terms. When a position does open up, your manager will most likely hire you instead of someone they have never worked with before.
If you really like the company and the position becomes available, seize this opportunity immediately. Even if the job description is not quite what you expected, you should always be open to possibilities. You never know, this opportunity could be something you really enjoy.
Caroline Schmidt from Kangan Institute is passionate about education and career outcomes for students in the VET sector.