So I've got kind of a whammy of a question for you all... what are you supposed to do when you feel like your job is useless?
This past week marks a month at the Lifestyle mag, and while I've been having a good time and I'm happy to have the experience of working for them (let's face it, I'm happy for an internship in general), I couldn't help but think this week that I felt like I was hired out of obligation. I've been given a couple of great assignments so far, but aside from one or two things that have made me feel worthwhile, I mostly feel like a bother to editors when I ask them if they need help with anything.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I was beginning to feel slightly useless, so I began to reevaluate how I wanted my internship experience to go. I came to the realization that all internships are not created equal. Some may have a strict program with guidelines to follow that will keep you busy every minute of the day, while some of them may just keep you around for those moments when they need an extra set of hands to help out. There are also some where there's simply not much work for you to do, so how do you ensure yourself a quality working and learning experience when you're thrown into an unexpected scenario of how your job was going to play out?
I immediately poured myself into researching statistics and sources for my 300-500 word assignment, and by the time our meeting rolled around, I was beginning to feel like I may have been useful after all. My first draft took quite a bit of editing to fit in with what they wanted, but I ultimately ended up with a clip and a couple of new relationships with some really cool editors.
As for now, I'm still trying to find ways to stay busy during all hours of the day, but it's looking like this experience is just going to be what I make it for myself, not what others make it for me. Don't be afraid to ask for extra work here and there, Edsters. Of course you'll run into days where the most thrilling thing to do might be organizing stacks of papers for someone who actually doesn't need for that to be done, but completing all of your tasks with a smile on your face will ultimately serve to show your editors that you are a very capable intern.
Do any of you have tips to make yourself feel useful in the office? If so, I'd love to hear in the comments section!
Until next Wednesday,