I don’t know about you, but I measure my life in memes.
And the first day of my new PR internship at Bospar can only be summed up as:
Anyone who’s ever started a new internship—or job of any kind, for that matter—knows what I’m talking about. The first day is a nauseating mixture of excitement, nervousness, self-doubt and information overload.
Now one month later, I’ve settled in nicely. Here are a few tips I’d travel back in time to give myself, if I could.
Try to Relax. It’s Going to Be OK.
The first day is nerve-wracking, and you want to do your best. But it’s also important to realize that this isn’t a life-or-death situation.
You’re here to learn something new, explore a career opportunity, and figure out what you like and what you don’t like. While it’s OK to be stressed about a new assignment, don’t let yourself feel stressed about an entire day. Have faith in yourself. You will do a great job, and things will get done, especially if you get lucky and have helpful coworkers (like I do).
Take notes and read them over on your commute home, before you go to bed, and again when you wake up the next day.
Learning something new is like learning how to tie your shoes all over again: with repetition and practice, it becomes so easy that you don’t even have to think twice about doing it.
Notes also serve as a reminder of what you did during the day and help you measure how much you’re doing and learning.
Ask for Help.
Let’s be honest: asking for help can sometimes be difficult, especially when you feel like you’re on the brink of a solution.
But remember that you’re supposed to ask questions—you’re an intern, and you’re here to learn. Figuring things out on your own is one thing, but when you have no idea what you’re doing, it’s always better to ask for clarification so you don’t waste time or do something the wrong way.
Asking questions also communicates to others that you’re interested in something and actually want to succeed.
Sure, coffee makes you feel energized. But too much makes your brain heavy, palms sweaty and heart race—so go easy.
There is nothing worse than being over-caffeinated when you’re trying to make a good impression or trying to get work done. Instead, go to sleep 30 minutes earlier than you normally would or snack on foods that’ll keep you energized throughout the day.
These healthier habits will help you stay energized all day long—not just for a very intense spike—and will make you feel good mentally and physically, too.
And Now: Onwards and Upwards.
See? That wasn’t so bad. Now take all the new skills that you learned and use them to move on up the ladder.