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  • Brittany Horowitz 11:37 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , speaking up   

    Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions 

    At the beginning of a new position, it can feel like you’re in a foreign country when you walk into your new office. New faces, new work practices, new rules, and the list goes on. It’s important to remember that asking question is vital in becoming adjusted to your new environment and surroundings. If you don’t ask questions, then you’re more likely to make mistakes.

    It can be intimidating to ask certain “silly” questions, such as how to use the phones or company rules for lunch breaks; however, how will you ever know the answers if you don’t ask? If you make a mistake while setting up a conference call for the whole office, or if you’re gone too long for your lunch break, it is not a valid excuse when you say, “I didn’t know.” Just ask! It’ll be a weight off of your shoulders once you learn about how the office runs, and then you’ll be less likely to make easy to avoid mistakes.

    Lastly, don’t start asking a million questions until you have read your company’s office handbook or rule book. Usually, a company will have an FAQs document that goes over basic office information, such as dress code and sick leave protocol. It would be bothersome to your HR department to have to answer questions that have already been written out for your convenience. Don’t make that amateur mistake. Try to see if the answers are available first, then seek further assistance when necessary. All in all, gaining new information will make adjusting to a new office even easier!

    B.

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  • Brittany Horowitz 2:34 am on March 21, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , speaking up   

    This isn’t what I signed up for 

    I am lucky enough to say that I have never had a bad internship experience. My positions have always met or exceeded my expectations, and the types of work I have been assigned have always been educational and interesting. However, in high school, I did have random after-school jobs that did not always live up to the job descriptions I was first given by my future bosses, so I know what it is like to feel unhappy about a new position.

    It’s awful when you expect your job to be an educational and beneficial experience, and then you end up having to get employees coffee or make pages after pages of copies for your boss. I have heard horror stories.

    The good news is, there is a solution! It is unfortunate when it comes to this point, but even as an intern you have the right to speak up. Of course, I don’t recommend rushing into your supervisor’s office and complaining/yelling/whining/crying. Instead, you can voice your concern in a professional manner. Explain what expectations you had for the position, and carefully outline the types of tasks you thought you were going to be given. You shouldn’t be demanding or bossy, obviously.

    Your supervisor might not realize that you are unhappy with the tasks that you have been given thus far, so if you don’t speak up changes will not be made. Internships are supposed to be for learning and for gaining experience before you enter the job market, so make the most of your position. You won’t learn anything from sitting around unhappily counting down the minutes until your day is over. Instead, learn how to speak up. That in itself is a learning experience.

    -B.

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