An internship or trainee program can truly be a first step toward a brilliant career, whether your plan is to start your own business girlboss style or succeed as a powerbabe in the corporate world. This guide consists of six common mistakes even bossbabes tend to make. The good news is that they can all easily be turned into sharp strategies that will benefit you in the competitive career zone.
- You don’t make any demands. Sometimes we tend to focus solely on being grateful that we actually got an internship, while we’re equally eligible to, if not even more, to make demands when we work for free. Of course, you shouldn’t act like a diva, you’re not Oprah Winfrey (yet). But make sure that you select an internship you truly want. The tasks don’t need to be super sophisticated but it should be an opportunity that makes you jump out of bed in the morning. Since chances are you’re not getting paid, it’s the assignments, the environment and works colleagues who will be your main motivation.
- You stay too long instead of moving on. It is usually not the length that is important when it comes to internships, but rather where you actually have interned. It can be both expensive and boring with a too long internship. Three months is usually sufficient, you will gain more experience than you think in that period of time.
- You underestimate the importance of the company’s brand. One strategy is to seek an internship at a company where you then have a chance to get hired. Another strategy is to choose the best company or person in your industry. The advantage of such an internship, in addition to experience, is that you add a strong brand to your resume. This will in turn strengthen your personal brand and thus the chances of future employment also at another workplace, as a consultant or entrepreneur.
- You’re satisfied with only one internship at a time. Maximize your time by choosing two internships simultaneously. You’ll get twice as much experience and increase your chances of landing that dream job or project. You can be two days a week at one workplace and three days at another. An internship certainly does not need to be full-time, although companies often try to propagate that. If you already have a part-time job, it is perfect to combine that with your internship. Just simply suggest that you intern three days a week and work the other two. A set up like that will also help you save money to realize your dream.
- You’re only looking for internships in your home town. There are few things that boosts your career as much as an internship abroad or in another town. A resume with an international perspective stands out in a crowd. An internship abroad also says a lot about you as a person, your drive, and your career vision. This not only increases your chances of employment in your hometown but also internationally. Does it sound too costly? Think again, it doesn’t have to be that hard on your wallet. An internship abroad doesn’t have to be so much more costly than at home. You can share accommodation with others, sublet your apartment at home, or choose a place where you already have friends or family to stay with. Alternatively, you can just shorten the time span of your internship as mentioned above.
- You’re not thinking big enough. Dare to be intense! Dare to apply for internships even for companies that´s not seeking interns. Chances are you will seem even more attractive in the companies eyes. Just make sure that your application is well adjusted to the company in question and then send spontaneous inquiries. Don’t be afraid to reach out to multiple persons at the same company. Then follow up your email with a call where you make sure that your application reached them. But most importantly be fierce, take chances and always remember: If you do not ask the answer will always be “No”.