6 Ways to Keep It Together While Searching For an Internship

Posted by | November 12, 2013 | Tips for Interns

The current economic climate being what it is, finding a job or an internship is really difficult. It can take weeks (if you’re lucky!) or more likely months to find something that works for both you and the employer. The internship search can be frustrating and the rejections and down period only fuel that frustration.

But there are things you can do to keep your head above the water.

1. Have patience.

I know this sounds cliche, but having patience is your best option here. Be realistic when looking at your chances of being taken on, plan for the worst scenario and hope for the best. That way, you will cover all your bases. Having realistic approach and expectations will definitely help you develop patience.

2. Spruce up your CV.

Use that down time to do something productive: poke around to see how you can tweak your CV to optimise it. Could your CV use a new look? Maybe you could change the formatting, or design it in such a way that will make it stand out. Make sure you proofread it a few times. Let your eyes rest and come back a few hours later. You’d be surprised how much that helps when proofreading!

3. Practice interviews during down time.

Ask your family or friends to sit down with you and practice interviewing. Many people (myself included!) feel nervous about interviews. There is no other way to get used to them but to experience them, even in a mock setting. Your friends and family can give you pointers on what to change, what to keep, how to articulate yourself during an interview after they practice with you. Getting such feedback is really valuable, so make sure you take advantage of it!

4. Step back from it all for a while – hobbies, sports.

Make sure your life isn’t all about finding your next internship. Go out, hang out with friends, take up a hobby, play sports. Do something for your health – mental and physical – by making sure you have balance in your life. It’s easy to get lost in the process of applying for jobs and internships, so please take a break from time to time. You’ll get back at it with more energy and enthusiasm once you’ve rested, I promise!

5. Put things into perspective.

Stepping back from your computer and sending out your applications will help you realise that there are other things going on in your life. While finding an internship to hone your skills is important, putting things in perspective is crucial. If you don’t get this internship, it’s not the end of the world. You will try again until you are successful. Don’t run yourself into the ground needlessly, check your priorities and readjust your course every once in a while!

6. Keep on going

As I mentioned above, taking a break will help you gain some perspective and distance. That, in turn, will allow you to rest and regenerate, so you can go back at it with renewed vigour. When you hit the wall and it seems like things just won’t work out the way you want them to, don’t give up. Take a break, take a walk, chat to a friend. But don’t throw in the towel just yet, because who knows, maybe that next application will be the one that lands you your dream internship? I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

 

Please remember, you are not alone during any of this. If things get to be too much, talk to someone. Aware have a helpline you can call if you want to talk to someone impartial. Look after yourself and know that “this, too, shall pass.”

How long have you been looking for an internship or a job? Do you have any tips on how to deal with the frustration of it all? Please share them with us in the comments!

 

— Author: Lena Zwolak

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