Before his tragic death at the hands of Drizzy Drake, the rapper Meek Mill famously said that dreams were worth more than money. He’s obviously never tried to pay his mortgage with a dream. To an extent, he’s right though. When choosing a career your happiness and development should come first, and the rest will follow.
While this absolutely doesn’t mean you should ever do an unpaid internship (EVER), you should definitely recognise that an internship can give you a heap of more valuable things. Here’s all the lessons you learn on an internship.
Why do you do anything careers-related at all? To build up that sweet, sweet work experience. And guess what? The more you’ve got, the more employable you are. Successfully completing an internship shows other potential employers that you can be trusted in a job setting and that you’re ready for the big, bad world of work.
Experience of work
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. This isn’t the same as the above. Getting experience of your chosen career and getting experience of actually working in an office (or wherever) are two completely different beasts.
It’s something you don’t tend to think about when you sign up for an internship. But in that period of a few weeks, you’ll learn more about office relationships and workplace politics than you’ve ever known.
And here’s why it’s important to make friends. Your work colleagues are the most valuable source of information you have at your disposal – and they’re happy to help.
Plus, if you work somewhere with good company culture, they’re probably also great people. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, exchange emails or add social accounts before during and after an internship.
A foot in the door
For plenty of companies, internships are fast becoming the most effective way of recruiting good people. Hell, I got my job with Debut by interning with them for four months, so I must be telling the truth.After all, how best to let the company know that you can do a job than by doing the job?
Also, we know this is meant to be about lessons you learn on an internship and not money, but word on road is if you get a job via an internship, you get a higher starting salary.
Internships show you quite quickly what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. Then, it gives you time to improve on those things. The result? You become a cool careers juggernaut, ready to flourish and show off your skills in any environment.
You’re probably used to having the leisure to focus on one thing at a time at uni. Not just that, but having to come in 9 hours a week before returning to base to spend the whole night playing FIFA Ultimate Team.
For the uninitiated, the switch-up to early mornings and 9 hour days will damn near kill you. Doing an internship will definitely help you cope with that. It’ll give you time to acclimatise to working life while allowing to make mistakes. But, y’know, not too many.
A wise person once said you actually more about what you don’t want to do on your first job experience than about what you want to do. If you’re unsure if you want to pursue something, a taste of working there will dispel any doubt. That’s one of the most important lessons you learn on an internship.
Essentially, it gives you a chance to test drive a career. You’ll either love it and want to stay or discover another passion and pursue that instead. Either way, you’ll be happy. And that, friends, is priceless.
GIFs via Giphy