You have an opportunity for an internship or job secured, now what? Just because you have plans doesn’t mean that should stop being proactive about your own career development. Performing well in your new role is crucial especially in the case of an internship that could lead to a job offer. Even if the organization may not be able to hire you full-time immediately, if they’re impressed by your work, they’ll more than likely be happy to connect you with their network for your job search.
Let’s take a look at three specific areas where you can go above and beyond:
- Work hard and do your best. Do the work that is asked of you and do not ever imply that a project may be beneath you. You don’t have to be an expert, but do your best work. Everything that you work on and the interactions you have with others while completing these tasks will leave an impression on your colleagues. Make sure what they see is you putting your best foot forward each day.
- Make a good impression. The people you work with will be watching your every move. Remember that everything that you do at work whether it’s a job related task or socializing with colleagues at lunch matter to the people around you. This group of contacts will hopefully become a part of your personal network, so be sure to make a good first impression.
- Ask for more. To truly go above and beyond, show your willingness to take on extra work. Is there another colleague or department working on a project that really interests you? Ask your supervisor if there’s a way to be involved. If you feel like you have a good grip on your basic responsibilities in your role, inquire about additional tasks; be proactive and seek out opportunities that suit your interests.
- Develop/strengthen skills. Your employer does not expect that you can do everything perfectly at this point in your career. This is a time for you to continue developing or strengthening skill sets. Identify areas for you to build and seek out opportunities for you to learn and practice these skills. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so that you can learn the necessary information to move forward with a task.
- Teamwork. Find opportunities to work in groups. This is an essential skill no matter the field or position that you are seeking out. It will also help to develop your communication, leadership, and delegation skills.
- Constructive feedback. When you’re first establishing a relationship with your new supervisor talk about how they can share feedback with you. They are likely to see areas where you are strong as well as areas that you can continue to work on. Set up a process with them to gather feedback and suggestions on how you can continue to improve.
- Network. Take the opportunity to meet as many people as possible in your workplace. Anyone and everyone you meet becomes a part of your network, and you never know how the relationship could be beneficial to you, or them, in the future. Take time to informally network by asking people to coffee and just learning about their role, career path, etc. They can most likely also give you great insight into the organization that can help you in your role.
- Find a mentor. Seek out someone who can guide or support you during your experience. As you reach out to network, take note of people who seem invested in your success, ask you thoughtful questions, and easily give you time from their schedule to connect. Continue meeting up with these people and they can become a sounding board for you. If you may not connect well with your supervisor or they don’t seem to be able to provide you with feedback and developmental conversations, this is another way to seek out that type of relationship.
- Stay in touch. If it’s an internship, keep in touch after you leave. Follow up to thank those who you met and learned from. Keep them updated on what you’re doing and inquire about the organization. These contacts will be crucial to you when job searching. On the job side as people may leave the organization keep in touch with these contacts that you’ve made. Most likely they have moved on to another organization that could be of interest to you someday.