1. Organize your stuff. That stack of papers on your desk has been getting higher by the day. Your inbox is so stuffed with e-mails you can’t find anything. This is the perfect opportunity to get your things (and your mind!) in order. Make folders for your e-mails so you can access them more easily in the future. You’ll definitely appreciate it when you’re swamped at work the following week.
2. Research trends. Any responsible journalist is well-read and well-informed. Use your newfound spare time to read up on what’s going on in the world. Not only will you have lots of things to talk with your coworkers about, but you can also observe different authors and their writing styles. Find out what you like and don’t like in their writing and apply it to your own work. Plus, the more you read, the more likely you’ll be able to…
3. Pitch a story! This is a great way to show initiative. Even if your editors don’t love your story idea, you’ll be able to show that you can keep yourself motivated and busy even when they don’t have specific tasks ready for you. And who knows? Maybe they’ll love your idea! And then you’ll definitely have something to work on.
4. Do some research on the company. You might know all about the specific magazine you work at, but does the publishing company have other titles as well? Learn all about the company and what they do. Who knows when another opportunity will arise?
5. Get to know your fellow interns. You all ended up at the same place, but you probably come from different backgrounds. You could learn a lot from your fellow interns, and it’s always good to have those connections when you’re looking for a real job in the future. Being friends with the other interns makes for an infinitely more enjoyable work environment too!
6. Don’t get discouraged. I made this mistake on my very first day of work. When you don’t have a ton of things to do, it’s easy to fall into questioning why you’re there. Don’t forget what made you so passionate about magazines in the first place! Maybe it’s writing, or maybe it’s getting a behind-the-scenes look at how everything gets put together. Whatever it is that made you want to pursue a career in magazine journalism, stick to it. The slow day will end eventually, and you’ll be on to more exciting things.