You’re hired: 5 ways to make the transition from intern to full-time employee

March 31, 2015

Scoring your first full-time job is an accomplishment to say the least, especially in this job market full of competition. It helps if you went to a college that promoted internship experience and career development, but even so, when you land your first job, pat yourself on the back and pop the champagne- you deserve it.

As a former serial intern, I could tell you that even though I had killer internship experience on my resume, I was still freaking out about locking down my first real job. I could also tell you that looking for a job is hard and a lot like finding the perfect guy. This process involves kissing a lot of frogs, becoming frustrated with the world around you, and then probably losing hope before something great eventually comes along.

If you’re like me, you’re looking for a job in a great company culture that also challenges you and propels your career to new heights. Once you find it, transitioning from being a serial intern to a full-time employee takes more work than finding the actual job itself. Here are a few steps to get started:

Dress for the job you want.
First impressions are the real deal, and I was always taught to “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Dressing up can give you the confidence you need when starting your first job. It has helped me remain professional and poised, although I slip sometimes and throw on a pair of jeans.                  

Be a sponge.
Everything is new, so getting overwhelmed is totally normal. Soak everything in, and don’t hesitate to ask a million questions until you feel comfortable in your role. You’re new and co-workers are there to help.

Take on responsibility.
Embrace responsibility. Your first job will likely be a team support role, especially if you are beginning your career in PR. That support role is super important to the productivity of your account teams, so master those responsibilities and then seek out new ones.

Make organization your middle name.
In a supporting position, you NEED to be organized. Everyone is different, but I prefer to write out my responsibilities in more than one place. Call me crazy but I not only have a desk calendar with my daily tasks, I have an agenda and also a to-do note pad. Find a method that keeps you on schedule.

Identify your career goals.
As you begin your career, think about where you want to be and the steps you will take to get there. Setting goals helps you grow professionally and enables you to push yourself every day. Your first full-time job is the start of an exciting and fulfilling journey, and hopefully the beginning to a successful story.


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