College jobs and internships, no matter what your major is, are amazing opportunities. Not only will you be able to get real life work experience, but working even just a few hours a week can be a big help in paying for college. Sometimes, though, it might not go exactly as you planned. Whether you’re struggling with your assignments or the job just isn’t what you expected, here are five ways to turn the bad experience around.
1. Figure out why it’s not going well to begin with
To fix a problem, you must first identify the source of it. Why exactly is your job or internship not working out for you? Are you spending too much time socializing with your friends? Do you not understand the tasks that are being assigned? Are you having trouble clicking with your coworkers? Once you figure out what the issue is, you can start being honest with yourself on how to resolve it.
2. Change your bad habits
If you get frowned upon for frequently showing up late or not checking your work emails, change these habits ASAP. Do not allow yourself to be in the position where you get lectured for the same mistakes repeatedly.
3. Don’t forget to have a positive attitude
The person with the highest GPA doesn’t necessarily always get the job. At the end of the day, employers want to hire someone that they enjoy working with.
Even if you don’t have all the technical skills your employer is looking for yet, maintaining a good spirit and working hard will help you stand out. If you’ve found yourself frequently showing up to work in a bad mood due to personal issues, you need to find effective ways to release your stress outside of work. Everyone has personal issues going on outside of their professional life. You must learn to put your personal issues aside and focus on the job.
4. Start going out of your way to show you care
Go the extra mile! Always be asking if you can help people (when the time is appropriate), and never be doing nothing. You were selected as an intern or employee for a reason, and you don’t want to disappoint your boss or coworkers.
5. Ask a lot of questions
There really is no such thing as a dumb question. When you’re just starting a new job or internship, you’re supposed to have tons of questions. Especially at an internship, employers understand that you’re new to the job and professional world. When I did my internship at an accounting firm, I remember my boss telling me, “We want you to ask questions. We start to worry about the people who don’t ask questions.”
Even if you don’t see yourself working long–term at your current position, you should still be professional and treat it like a serious job. Professional references go a long way, and you never know who you will interview with in the future, or what opportunities might open up down the road. Good luck, and work hard!