Congratulations—you landed a job or internship! Take a breather and enjoy the relaxing feeling of securing a position. But, don’t relax for too long! The hard work doesn’t stop now that you have a job. Now is the time that you should begin thinking about how to get the most out of the experience.
During the job or internship, you as the employee should have designated learning goals and should be able to self-reflect throughout the entire experience in terms of the knowledge you are gaining. Both you and the organization should benefit.
What should I get out of the experience?
- Accomplish challenging, but realistic, responsibilities.
- Develop professional competencies needed for your future job search and career success.
- Utilize the knowledge of the professionals you will work with and find a professional mentor.
Learn more about your role!
- What will be my day-to-day responsibilities?
- Will I work on a team or individually?
- What is the overall structure of the company and how does your department fit within that structure?
- Why types of projects will I work on?
- How would you describe the company’s management style and culture?
Finally, set goals:
- Make specific and measurable goals—put these together with your supervisor.
- Network with other departments and colleagues.
- Demonstrate professionalism at all times: dress, communication and behavior.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your employer would rather have you ask than to do something incorrectly.
- Also don’t be afraid to ask for new projects—if you aren’t feeling challenged, ask how else you can help.
Update your resume as you move through the position, developing strong examples of things you complete and have an impact on as well as talk about measurable results.
Lastly, be flexible and have an open mind about the experience—you may have to do some things you don’t love, but that is part of figuring out what you are and aren’t passionate about! If you approach every responsibility, no matter what it is, with a positive attitude and great work ethic—that WILL get noticed.
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