What happens when you can’t find a job and you are going through a period of extended unemployment? Thinking outside the box becomes very important. While volunteerism is one avenue, consider an internship. Once considered a tool for college students to gain valuable skills, many internships are now open to anyone searching for workplace experience.
While internships usually benefit the employer with "free labor", they can also offer the intern a number of benefits as well. These benefits include finding out your work likes and dislikes or increasing your knowledge levels on a range of skills. It can also eventually lead to a full time job.
How to increase your chances of receiving a full time job offer from an internship?
- Find ways to stand out, especially if this is your ideal company.
- Try to say “no” as little as possible. You want to make every effort to show that you are a hard worker and a true asset to the company. Work extra hard at demonstrating your skills and work ethic. Pay attention to details. Arrive to work on time and stay until it’s time to leave.
- Be personable, polite and positive every chance you get. A team player attitude is extremely important in the work environment.
- Be receptive to the ideas and constructive criticisms of your peers and supervisors. Balance being a know-it-all with using the opportunity to learn.
- Make your manager’s life easier. Be receptive to their needs and contribute fresh ideas. Dedication and loyalty are traits that most managers appreciate.
- Use the opportunity to network with others within the company. Make sure that your networking does not fall into the “persistently annoying” category. You don’t want people to run in the other direction when they see you coming. If they look busy, do not be intrusive; wait until a more opportune moment.
While an internship is usually unpaid, you will occasionally find one that does pay. If you hold out for a paid internship, however, you will be in the same position as you are searching for a regular paid fulltime job. Keep in mind that if a company is offering a paid internship, the competition will be much steeper.
If the internship does not work out as expected and you find that it is not your ideal job, the plus side is that you have had the opportunity to increase your knowledge base. You will also have the opportunity to meet new networking contacts that can lead to other opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open.
To find internships, visit the website for companies that you may be interested in working for.