Internships, interim jobs, and seemingly irrelevant positions: How to spin your current job into your long-term career

interns Whether you’re just starting out or having to start over, we’ve all been in work situations that are less than ideal. Finding your forever job takes, well, work. Maybe you’re an intern and just starting out, or maybe you’re in a temporary turnpike and only seem to be landing short-term gigs, or, and we hope this isn’t the case, you’re in a job that you just can’t stand to do another day. Whatever your situation is, there are ways of taking your current position and making it work, for you.

Here are some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your current position:

 

Whatever you’re doing, be the best

So you know you don’t want to work retail your whole life, and quite honestly, you only took it because your other options fell through – this is no excuse not to apply yourself and get something out of the whole experience.

There’s always something to learn no matter what the job title or tasks.

Take your interim intellect and use it in your next position, this will make that summer of filing as an intern worth it so long as you learn something from doing it. Even if it’s soft skills, like how to handle tough customers or a nasty coworker, there are take-aways that you can and should be getting from your current position to help you in the long run.

With that being said, if you maximize your current position’s offerings, by say taking on management roles and responsibilities at that retail job, or by offering your intern filing services to marketing because you’ve always been interested in that department, you can make connections and take the skills you’ve picked up along the way to get you to where you want to be.

 

Know thyself

Know what it is about your current position that makes you want something more, or something different. Is it you or the job, because if it’s you, you’re always going to blame the job, no matter what it is. Try to really figure out what industry, what job, what salary, what’s important to you, to prevent you from bouncing around from job to job. Make strategic moves that will get you to your end goal, whatever it may be.

Take your current position and write down what you like and don’t like about it. If you love working with people but don’t like having to sell to people, know that you enjoy interaction but not in pressured or dependent situations.

Making your job work for you means learning more about yourself as you continue on along your career path.

 

Be versatile

Whether it’s networking with a variety of departments, or making yourself flexible in the workplace, have it be known that you are a “Jack of all trades” and someone who is able to get along with just about anybody – this will make you more marketable not only in the grand scheme of job searching but also within your current company.

Maybe you’ve found an industry that you can really align yourself with, but you’re just in the wrong sector of it, networking and being versatile will get you to where you want to be within that field.

 

Be the change you want to see in the world…of work

Does your boss make your work life miserable? Do you feel like the environment you’re working in is toxic to your personality?

Then it may be disconcerting to know that your future is tied with that of the boss you cannot stand.

According to a recent About.com article, leaving a position due to a bad boss is the number one reason why people indicated that they left. Before it gets to that, make sure you communicate your feelings to your boss or go to a manager who can provide you with the resources that you need in order to handle the situation.

Nobody can know you’re unhappy if you don’t tell them. This does not mean, however, that you want to go around saying how much you hate the company and all of the people that work for it, but in the appropriate environment and with the right attitude, critiques can actually be really helpful – and can turn your interim job into a place you see yourself for the next twenty years. Not only will your feedback express sincerity, it will demonstrate your commitment to the company. You don’t want to leave because of one bad egg.

 

The key is to express yourself and indicate your aspirations. It may sound cliché, but follow your heart, and as for the jobs, well, they’ll follow. Because when you’re passionate about what you do, there’s nobody that can do it better.

 

 

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2 Comments on “Internships, interim jobs, and seemingly irrelevant positions: How to spin your current job into your long-term career

  1. Thank you for this article! You wrote: “The key is to express yourself and indicate your passions.” I have been having trouble at my current internship truly finding my passion, but I’m glad you encouraged me to express myself because once I am able to put in words what I’m truly feeling about my job, I feel so much better.

    I wrote an article on my blog about asking yourself questions at work to try and plan for the future. Take a glance if you want: http://www.internmatch.com/blog/look-around-and-look-ahead-this-summer

    Thanks again,
    Will

    • I would try local places near your school first, they’re probably more kean to hiring students. Then try craigslist and narrow the results down by part time only.

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