Internships are a great way to gain experience in your field while boosting your resume. However, when you feel lost, it can be easy to lose sight of why you are there. Things can seem overwhelming and you can lose focus. In order to be successful, follow these tips for how to stay focused at your internship and get back on track to success.
1. Stay positive
Staying positive is key for how to stay focused at your internship, especially when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Take a deep breath and look back at everything you have done with the company so far. Seeing how much you have accomplished and learned will encourage you to keep going and will remind you that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to.
2. Keep a list of tasks nearby
Write down everything you need to complete each shift. As you complete them, use a highlighter to cross them off. That way, you can see what you have accomplished as motivation to keep moving forward. Having everything you need to do written down in one place will help you stay focused and organized so you are not shuffling through tons of random paper.
3. Resist the temptation to check social media
Unless your position entails spending time on your company’s social media or using social media to reach out to friends for interviews or ideas, resist the urge to check it unless you have a break. If someone truly needs to reach you, they can call or text you. Posts will still be there when your shift is over. Looking at social media while on duty will only make you envious of those who have off.
4. Keep your cell phone out of sight
If you keep your phone on your desk, you will be highly tempted to check every single notification that comes in and use it to look at your social media. Keep it in your bag or in a drawer in your desk. If you need to make a phone call, use the company phone or pull out your phone, but put it away as soon as you finish looking at it. This is one of the most important lessons on how to stay focused at your internship.
5. Remember why you are at the internship
You applied for this internship for a reason, whether you knew the company is known for offering jobs after successful internships or for relevant job experiences. When things are stressful, these things are erased from your mind. Take a moment in the middle of the day to reflect on why you are here and remember that there is a reason for this experience.
6. Ask your supervisor for advice
If you are feeling stressed out due to workload or just the nature of your work, talk to your supervisor for advice. Is there a concept you cannot seem to grasp? Are you an intern at a media company and are constantly receiving negative comments from readers? Ask your supervisor how he or she deals with these things and ask for advice on how to move forward. You are here to learn, after all.
7. Take a break
When you are feeling overwhelmed, avoid the temptation to keep working through the fog you are feeling. Do not eat your lunch at your desk. Go out to eat with coworkers or even alone. Take a brief walk or take a restroom break. Taking a brief break will help you take a step back and come back to work with a fresh set of eyes.
Which of these tips on how to stay focused at your internship are you going to use? Let us know in the comments below.
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Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.