Internships can help you get your foot in the door of the working world and also help build your career. They are a great way to gain the necessary experience needed in your feild of work.
Internships can help you get your foot in the door of the working world and also help build your career. Not only have internships become the preferred solution in South Africa and worldwide to help graduates gain work experience, but they also help increase your chances of landing a permanent job once the internship is up. In fact, according to research, successful interns have as much as a 70% chance of being hired by the company they’ve interned with. But this does not come easy; interns are constantly being scrutinized as potential permanent employees and therefore have to prove themselves worthy.
How do I transition from internship to full time?
- Be a great intern: An internship is like an audition: So it wise that you conduct yourself in a manner that will impress your employers - be punctual at all times, be enthusiastic about your work ,work hard and tackle every task with diligence , and most importantly ask questions and learn as much as you can.
- Step forward. Some departments are constantly seeking extra hands. For example, writing blog posts for the company website, making coffee for the boss ( yes, even the minimal tasks count a lot), updating social accounts and working for other departments at crunch times can really make you stand out.
- Be realistic. If you don’t get hired at the first place you intern, try and make sure that you get a solid recommendation from them to use when applying for other opportunities. Also bear in mind that you may sometimes need to multiple internships before you find paid work in the industry. And once you are offered a paying job, be realistic about your salary expectations.
- Work hard. Dedication is an attribute that every employer looks for in their employee. Not only will hard work gain you favour and put you in the good books of the Boss but it will also help you climb the ladder to success at your company. And this attribute should be found in all that you do if you are looking to get employed permanently – be the first to arrive at the office and be the last to leave. Even with the most onerous tasks, do your best to complete them successfully, ask questions where you don’t understand, ask for help where you need it - remember this is your shot so you need to make a good impression.
- Be mindful that your every move may be scrutinized. As an intern you must understand that an employer watches everything you do. Even if you think it is a meaningless task, there is a reason for it, and it is important to your employer. If you handle the task with professionalism and diligence even though you may think you are 'above' the task -- it will reflect highly on you. So watch your actions very carefully, be professional at all times, be careful not to use language that is profane or vulgar, make room for criticism and accept it as constructive criticism, offer to help your colleagues where you possibly can …
- Network - Network with co-workers at your internship - both during and outside of working hours. Get to know as many of the people you work with as you can, and socialise with them outside work, as well. Join the company’s soccer team. Attend the company picnic or party. Everyone you meet is a potential member of your network, and the more people who know you and your work, the more champions you will have when it comes to turning your internship into a job.
- Don't be shy about asking about permanent job opportunities. Your employer won't know that you're interested in a job unless you ask. Also be observant for opportunities to create a position. Look for employer needs that aren't currently being met, and consider proposing a job to meet those needs. Look out for gaps that will work to your advantage.
How do I find an internship?
With the job market being tougher than ever before, it is only wise that any job hunter who has little or no work experience and has just recently graduated does an internship.
You can visit websites such as the Careers Portal to see what internships are available out there.
Remember, it is no guarantee that when your internship is up you will be employed permanently, but with these tips above at the top of your mind, you might just find your next meeting with your boss is one that changes your life forever.