How to turn your internship into a full-time job

Thursday, May 11, 2017 09:35

Katherine Hockley by Katherine Hockley

I started my three month internship as a Digital Content Editor a year ago, and now I'm a full-time Digital Content Designer at the same company. Here are my top tips on how to turn your internship into a full-time job. 

Find the right internship

Not all internships were created equal. Some companies have a revolving door policy, i.e. you'll be in and out in the allocated time only to be replaced by another intern. Picking the right kind of internship is key in making sure you're considered for a full-time job. Read Daniel's post here on how to spot the right kind of internship. A good way to find this out is to simply ask whether the right candidate would be considered for a full-time role in the interview. 

Don't treat your internship as a temporary role

When I started my internship I treated it as though I would be getting a full-time job at the end of it, even though I had no reason to do so. I offered my skills for a variety of tasks and volunteered to do more work than given. Being reliable and helpful will get you noticed. I got involved with projects that were timed outside of my three month internship, and my temporary contract was extended twice until I was offered a permanent position.

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I worked my hardest and it undoubtedly paid off. I once had an incredibly tough challenge set (write an entire website in three days) whilst suffering from a particularly nasty cold, but I made sure I gave it my all and managed to impress my boss by turning it around on time. Become invested in the company, don't just treat it as 'something for the CV.'

READ MORE: How to get the most out of your graduate interns and temps

Make yourself indispensable to the team through versatility

If there is a glaringly obvious skills gap within the organisation, pick up the slack. I went in as a writer and was CC'ed in on an email about design work. I replied saying I had experience in InDesign, and that I could easily create what they wanted. Ultimately, my volunteering to do work outside my designated role got me a full-time job, and the job role they created for me was crafted around several of my specific abilities rather than just the one. Making sure you tell your employer about all your different skills is important, as a role could be created around your unique set of skills. 

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Don't be too precious

Getting negative feedback or being overruled on something is a natural part of working life, so don't be too sensitive when faced with it. If you're an intern, you're likely just starting out on your career, so listen and learn in order to improve, and don't be afraid to actively seek out feedback. It will show you're willing to adapt and easy to work with, and these are assets any employer will find attractive.

Be heard

This does not mean shouting above the rest or forcing your opinions, it simply means offering your ideas. This can be done in group meetings or even via email. By doing so, it shows you are actively interested in the goals of the company and engaged with your role.

You have nothing to lose by piping up, so make sure you're adding to the discussion rather than simply taking the role of a passive listener. Remember, people want you to do well and want to hear your thoughts, otherwise they wouldn't have offered you the internship in the first place. 

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