I think the biggest issue for me is that no one cares about the work I’m doing. It’s been hard to find intrinsic motivation because the work isn’t inherently interesting or challenging, but as an intern I kind of expected that. What makes it difficult, for me at least, is that the work I do doesn't seem crucial to the operation of the mag. Mostly, I'm working on small blog posts that are nice but unnecessary.
Often, I feel like my editor has to search for things for me to do. I almost feel annoying asking for work sometimes, because I think he spends more time searching for tasks for me than he saves by having me do them. Even when I am given a task, it rarely comes with a deadline or any sense of urgency, and occasionally I think my editor just makes things up to get me to stop asking (like when he tells me to research something for a potential front of the book story for the February issue).
The worst feeling, though, at least for me, is that because my work isn’t urgent or crucial, I sometimes feel like more of an annoyance than a necessary addition to the office. And I know I’m an intern, and interns don’t usually have critical roles. But the way this mag runs, I can leave for hours and no one will notice. (I didn’t just leave work, of course, but I did go to a day-long presentation I had cleared with my ed first. When I came back, I had no new emails, no missed calls, and my ed hadn’t even noticed I wasn’t there.)
I've talked to the assistant editor about this (she's the one who I had lunch with early on and who is also new to the mag), and she sympathizes, but doesn't have much for me to do, either. I'm trying to find a way to get more involved, but it's hard because I'm still learning how the mag operates, and no one has taken me up on my lunch offers yet!
I don’t want to be negative, but I need help, Edsters! How do you stay motivated? I want to do a good job and I want to learn everything I can, but without deadlines, a challenge or at least the sense the mag needs me in some small way, I’m having a hard time enjoying this internship as much as I want to. Advice on making the most of it?
Until next Wednesday,