Do's and Don'ts of Being an Intern
"Do's and Don'ts of Being an Intern" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 26th May 2011
There are intern-specific rules out there that you will be expected to know the first day on the job. Make your transition easier by following these do's and don'ts.
- Get to know people. By being friendly and personable with other interns and coworkers, you show your boss that you work well with others and are willing to learn from those around you.
- Offer to help a coworker who is working on a big project. Don't let your helpfulness be taken for granted, but look around to see if anyone could use some extra help. This will show your boss that you are a team player and a self-starter.
- Complete all assigned duties diligently. Dismissing certain assignments or not taking your work seriously is the last way to encourage your boss to give you more important duties or your coworkers to appreciate you being there.
- Watch your coworkers to decipher the unspoken rules of the office. Occasionally taking part in their rituals at lunch, on break, or before work will let you in on the office news and provide helpful tips about the ins and outs of the company. However, when doing so, carefully follow the "Don'ts" listed below.
- Err on the side of caution when deciding on proper conduct. Full time employees may be able to get away with coming in late, leaving early, dressing informally, and making a lot of personal phone calls, but remember that you may not be in that kind of position, so you need to stay on your toes.
- Get involved in office politics. Gossiping about your coworkers can give you a reputation as an office gossip, or even worse, your malicious comments could get back to the person in question.
- Discuss race, religion, politics, or gender related issues with or around any of your co-workers. You may never know if you offend someone because of a particular comment or position, and how that will affect you in the future.
- Develop close relationships with anyone at work. It is fine to casually befriend your co-workers, but engaging in close friendships or romantic relationships with people at work is never a good idea.
- Discuss personal matters at work. Medical, money, relationship, and other personal problems are none of your coworkers' business, so you shouldn't open your personal life up to scrutiny and discussion while at work. More often than not, although your problems may be especially trying, no one cares that much anyway.
- Get ahead of yourself. You may deserve to take on high-level tasks and duties, but your boss may expect you to prove yourself with smaller tasks when you first start out. Complaining about your boss, job, or responsibilities to your coworkers can only end in trouble.