Saturday, July 9, 2011

3 Tips for Not Crossing The Line With Your Editor

In just three weeks at The Fitness Mag I’ve learned a lot about the do’s and dont’s of intern life. For example, do take a moment to chit-chat with your editors when you come in to work (as long as they don’t seem super busy). This way, you can establish a friendly relationship, even if they don’t have time to have lunch with you…which is usually the case.

However, I’ve found that becoming too friendly with your superiors is definitely a don’t. This happened with an intern that I worked with last summer, and I notice some of the interns I work with here trying too hard to be buddy-buddy with the staffers. If you happen to hit it off with one of your superiors, that’s awesome, and you should use that relationship to your advantage--but it’s easy to tell when someone is kissing your you-know-what just because they want a job. There’s a big difference between a likable intern and someone who arrogantly acts like they’re already on staff. So here are a few foolproof tips I came up with so that you know you’ll leave a good impression.

1.Keep your editors in the know. They don’t want to feel like you’re sitting in your cubicle on Facebook all day, so if a project is taking you a lot longer than expected, send them emails or stop by their desks to let them know that you’re making progress. Last week, I went on a wild goose chase for a certain fitness statistic, and it took me days to find research that seemed like it would be readily available. Ms. Editor acted frustrated at first, but when I started updating her on the leads and letting her know that I had contacted several experts on the subject, she knew that I was doing my best to find the info she needed. The situation actually became a joke between us because we couldn’t believe how hard the information was to find. And when I finally helped her out, she was even more thankful because she knew all the work I put in to the task.

2.SMILE. Smile. And smile. I’ve been told this 100 times by professionals, professors and former interns, but I can’t tell you how important it is to do everything with a good attitude, and how often I see my fellow interns making mistakes in this area. Even if you’re having the crappiest day ever (and believe me, you will), you put on a smile and act excited about every opportunity you’re given to show off your mad skills.

3.Use your time wisely. I’ve only been here three weeks, and there have already been slow days where Ms. Editor doesn’t have me working on specific projects. During your down time take the opportunity to browse through past issues and brainstorm ideas to pitch for print or the website. If you find a story idea or product your editors want to use, you’re saving them time and they will definitely appreciate that.

1 comment:

  1. " Even if you’re having the crappiest day ever (and believe me, you will)..." That statement is too true.