Many young professionals are new to the professional world. As such, they don’t yet know the “rules”… both explicit and implied about how to behave professionally.
Breaking these rules can have dire consequences… and most often there are no second chances. (It’s a buyers market for employers out there… plenty of hungry applicants would love to have your internship).
Here are seven all-too-common mistakes that just may get you fired from your internship:
Let’s start with the ultra-obvious (yet it happens, a lot): There is no excuse to simply skip a day of work, especially as an intern. This is not like college classes, where you can miss a day and make up the work later. When you skip a day of work, or show up late for that matter, you are letting down your entire team. If it’s important enough, arrange the day with your supervisor in advance. Otherwise, you’re expected to show up on time. Bonus points if you’re early.
As an intern, it is essential for you to dress professionally. Pay attention to how your supervisor dresses and follow suit (pun intended). During the summer, it might be tempting to show more skin, but you need to put the temptation aside. Dressing too casually or showing too much skin will get you in to trouble, whereas dressing professionally will get you farther in your career.
Complaining About Your Assignments
An intern is most likely the lowest on the totem pole in the office. This means some of the busy work will get passed on to you. No matter if you’re photocopying or licking stamps, it’s important to just suck it up and do what is asked of you. Complaining about these things too often will get you fired. When you do the boring tasks efficiently with a positive attitude, you can move on to interesting assignments more quickly.
Creating Office Drama
One of the most important things you’ll learn in an internship is teamwork. You will get nowhere in your career if you create tension among your coworkers. Forming cliques or gossiping about your peers is a major no-no. This goes for both in and out of the office. You never know who is listening and you may get yourself fired.
Bringing Your Personal Life to Work
When you’re in the office, you should only be doing work-related tasks. Your internship time is not for Facebook, texting, personal calls, or scheduling appointments. You don’t want to get caught doing any of these things. If you have some down time, find something else to do by asking your supervisor for another assignment. Your boss will be impressed by your initiative.
Dating a Superior
It is never a good idea to become romantically involved with your boss, or anyone else who out-ranks you in the office. Your internship lasts a brief amount of time and should be used to learn things about your industry, not dating the boss. If things don’t work out, you might just get fired.
Getting Drunk with Your Coworkers
If you’re invited out with your coworkers, do not — I repeat, do not — get drunk. Just because you’re old enough and it’s outside of the office does not make it appropriate to get drunk in the presence of your coworkers. It’s perfectly OK to attend happy hour with your peers, so long as you conduct yourself appropriately. You never know what will get back to your boss.
While some of these things are pretty obvious, it’s important not to overlook anything that could get you fired. An internship is an opportunity to advance your career. Don’t ruin it by making a stupid mistake.
What are some other things that will get you fired from your internship?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at ComeRecommended!
About the Author: Jule Gamache is a senior at Penn State studying public relations with a minor in Spanish. Before becoming a content creator trainee, Jule was the public relations research assistant at Come Recommended. She has experience in public relations, social media, blogging, research, and marketing from multiple internships and student organizations. Follow Jule on Twitter!
Image courtesy of quickmeme.com… thank you!