At this point in your internship you’ve probably got your routine down pat, you finally know everyone on a first name basis, and you’ve mastered the perfect timing for grabbing a highly-coveted front row parking spot. But one thing is missing: you’re not happy.
Whatever your situation is, we’re letting you know what to do if you hate your internship.
You realized this isn’t what you want to do with your life.
Your internship is a learning experience. You probably didn’t anticipate learning that you’re on the wrong career path, but hey—it’s still an important lesson!
Stick it out, keep a positive attitude, and don’t deter yourself from learning the skills offered in this internship. Even if you know you won’t apply for similar positions again, a lot of job skills are universal! Plus, you can still gain some valuable recommendations and professional references from this experience. Long story short, you’re not wasting your time by sticking it out.
You can’t stand your boss.
Some working styles are hard getting used to. Maybe your manager is a bit condescending or intimidating, but think about what that can teach you before running out the door. You may learn how to better communicate, pay attention to detail, or thrive in high pressure environments. Plus, you don’t need to settle for a nit-picky boss throughout the rest of your career—just until the end of summer.
You’re going to meet people you don’t click with no matter where you work—But, if it’s reached a point where you’re being completely bullied and mistreated, don’t be ashamed to call it quits.
You don’t feel like you’re learning anything.
You always see those scenarios in movies where this frazzled intern is grabbing everybody’s coffee order. That’s not very educational, is it? If you don’t feel like your work is significant, speak up! Take a look at what others in the office are working on that sparks your interest. The next time you have a chat with your boss, ask how you can get more involved in those projects. Chances are, they’re not going to tell you to just keep getting the coffee.
You’re not interested in the industry.
Sometimes it’s not the actual work you don’t like, but the industry. Maybe you’d love being a graphic designer in the music industry, but right now you’re designing ads for a lawn care business. Getting to your dream job is a journey, but you can at least take comfort in the fact that you’re still honing your skills (even if it means staring at lawn mowers all day). Focus on putting forward your best work while you’re still there, and aim for your preferred industry the next time you’re applying for jobs.
You’re overworked and underappreciated.
Some jobs require hustling harder than others, and it often leaves you with a pretty bitter taste when you remember that after all this work, you’re still just an unpaid intern. While you can’t change your position, you can make sure your work doesn’t go unnoticed. See if you can set up regular catch-up meetings with your boss. You can discuss everything you’re accomplishing so that when it’s time to ask for a recommendation, they know everything you’ve contributed. Hard work pays off…even if it doesn’t seem like it at first!
Stuck in a situation that we didn’t list? Talk to us in the comments below!