Graduating from college is a huge milestone and celebration that thousands of students, like myself, experienced just a short couple of months ago in May. But, there was a quick shift from celebrating my diploma to receiving my first job offer; a job that was not just for the summer or a semester, and one where my title did not contain the word “intern,” something I’ve grown used to over the last five years.
Making this switch was overwhelming, and to be honest, it was a little nerve-racking! Even though I had nine months of intern experience at 451 Marketing before I started my job in May, I knew that this new role would come with different responsibilities and expectations. With some helpful advice I got from my mentors along the way, I was able to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are the five best tips I received and how I’ve applied them thus far during my time at 451 Marketing.
I had heard before how important it is to show up early and stay late at work to impress your boss. And while this might look good, it will look even better if you are timely with your work. Meeting deadlines, and even the occasional turning in your work early, shows a dedicated work ethic just as much, if not more, than being the last one to leave the office. After all, if you stay late but turn in careless work, does it matter?
Listen to feedback
This might be a given, but there is a difference between hearing someone and actually listening to what someone is saying to you. And, when you’re being told what you can work on to improve and do better, actually listening is important! The nature of my job works on a cyclical basis, so the projects I have are recurring. I find it helpful to keep a running list of any feedback I am given for each project, so it is all in one place for easy reference. This also shows me what I need to work on and how I can improve in the future.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
How else are you going to learn, right? More often than not, it is better to ask about something you do not know than to do something incorrectly. I find that my managers appreciate when I check on something instead of assuming and acting incorrectly. After all, there are no stupid questions! I find it just as important to keep track of these answers, too, so I do not ask the same question too many times.
Schedule meetings with your manager(s)
In addition to being able to get to know your manager better, it is important to check-in frequently. They can see how you are doing and adjusting to your job, and you also have the opportunity to ask questions or get feedback. As I slowly start to take on more responsibilities, I ask to sit down with my colleague so that I can be clear on expectations and how to go about these new projects.
While you obviously need to know the line between work and play, it is important to enjoy your job! Especially when you are at the office for at least 8 hours of your day, you do want to enjoy yourself. As a naturally shy person, this was difficult for me, but when I started to talk more with my co-workers or join them on a walk to get lunch, I found that I enjoyed being in the office more.
What are some of your career tips for switching from intern to employee? Share them with the 451 team in the comments below.