Turning an Internship Into a Job Offer
If you’re offered an internship, it can be a great opportunity to gain experience in your chosen field, as well as pick up a few new skills. And while an internship can be great to put on your CV, if you really enjoy the role, you may wish to transition from an intern into a paid employee. Obviously companies can’t guarantee that they’ll be able to offer a paid position at the end of every internship, but there are a few things you can do to improve the odds!
So if you’re looking to turn your internship into a job offer, try out a few of the tips we’ve listed below! Even if you’re unsuccessful, impressing your employer will undoubtedly mean a fantastic reference, so you really can’t lose.
Show You're Exceptional
If you’re trying to prove yourself, it goes without saying that you’ll want to stand out. This won’t be easy, especially as most interns don’t have a lot of prior experience! But by working hard, and showing your initiative, you should be able to make a good impression. For instance, you could spend a bit of your free time learning how the in-house systems and software work. While this knowledge won’t be transferable, understanding these platforms will no doubt impress your managers.
In terms of using your initiative, it’s also a good idea to try and anticipate what work you’ll be asked to do next. So if you’re coming to the end of a project with a particular client, you could speak to a colleague about similar assignments you might take on. Don’t be afraid to ask for more work!
Get to Know Your Colleagues
Perhaps the most important thing a business considers when hiring a new employee is whether they’d fit in with the company culture. Getting to know everyone better, and making friends, can therefore show that you fit right in. Make an effort to greet as many people as possible (hopefully you're not terrible at learning names!) and always be respectful. Try not to get involved in any office politics or gossip, as this would reflect badly on you.
Being friendly with your colleagues can also help with your career development. There is always at least one person in an office who is an absolute fountain of knowledge - try to pick their brains! Ask your colleagues about their own progression, and the steps they took to get where they are. Having a career roadmap can be just as beneficial as a job offer at the end of an internship.
Be Positive and Professional
As an intern, a lot of the work you’re given is likely to be menial - few companies would trust someone, with little to no experience, with their high profile cases! But no matter how dull you may find the task, it’s important to appear enthusiastic. If you want to work in any industry, you’ll probably need to work your way up, so expect some boring projects. The only way you’re going to progress is to push for it - ask to be included in meetings, and get involved as much as possible.
In terms of acting professionally, it’s often sensible to put yourself in the mindset of a paid employee. So observe the official office hours, try to get to work early, and adhere to the company’s dress code. If you’re essentially considered to be an employee, you’ve got a better chance of being offered a job at the end of your internship.
Do Your Research and Ask Questions
Even if you’ve already started your internship, it’s not too late to conduct more research on the company. The more you know about the business and the sector you’ll be working in, the better. Industry knowledge is never wasted, and you may be surprised by how few people keep up to date with the latest developments!
It can also be helpful to check whether the company you’re working for has a track record of hiring interns. And if you can’t find out online, it can’t hurt to ask! In general, it’s great to ask questions - don’t worry about looking ignorant. Asking questions shows that you’re engaged, and eager to learn.
Set Yourself Goals
If you haven't started your internship yet, it’s sensible to speak with your manager beforehand about the expectations the company has. And if you’ve already begun working, try to set up a meeting to talk about your progress so far, and what you’re aiming to achieve.
You may not be able to meet all your goals, but having a target to strive for can make a big difference. And if you keep track of your progress, this is something that you can bring up if your manager is thinking about keeping you on permanently. Because if you’re developing as an intern, just imagine how far you’ll go when you join the company as a paid employee!
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