Submitted by Frances Forster
Chief Marketing & Information Officer at Buxton Products, Inc.
There are a lot of things you can do to prepare for an internship or for seeking employment. You can polish your resume, network, search listings, attend job fairs, join professional associations, join speaking clubs to enhance your presentation skills, and such. In this line of thinking you are doing the most you can to present yourself in the best light possible. And you are trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, to increase the chances that someone will say “I want YOU!”
This is important work, but it is only one side of the coin. I would encourage you to step back and take a look at your job search in a different light. To look at the process as an opportunity to become more self aware, more balanced.
By now you will have discovered many things about yourself, like whether you’re a morning or night person, talkative or on the quiet side, traditional or trendy. You’ve also learned a good deal about how to manage your time, and how to keep yourself motivated when challenges arise. These skills will come in very handy in job searches.
But I would invite you to look a little deeper inside. The more you know about yourself the better you will be able to size up how a prospective job will fit you.
Do you prefer independent or collaborative work projects? Are you a planner or an action kind of person? How much information do you need to make a decision? Is a warm, friendly environment important to you? Do you thrive with structure or do you need freedom? Do you need to be able to put your own touch to things or are you fine with proven routines? Do you need to learn how to tone down a little, or learn how to speak up?
These questions, and many more like them, offer us the opportunity to see where we are in our personal development, and can help us spot areas that need attention. There are no right or wrong answers – just insights to be gained.
New situations, where people don’t know us, offer us the opportunity to try on a new, developing side of ourselves. No one will say “how come you’re acting so…” because they won’t know the difference.
Internships offer perfect opportunities to try out new skills, but they also offer the opportunity to stretch and develop our inner selves. By deliberately taking a job that requires you to strengthen or develop in new ways, you offer yourself the opportunity to gain new perspectives along with new skills.
At Buxton Products, Inc. we try to offer our interns a great environment for growing. Be sure to check out our internship postings on R-Career Link.