Starting your career as a young intern can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You might be feeling overwhelmed with the new environment and expectations, but don’t worry, as you are not alone.
As you embark in your career there are many things that I would love to share with you, things I have seen, learnt and heard. And I will. But each person learns in their own way and charts their own path. The most important thing is to determine what path you want for yourself and how you want to walk that path.
Below are some pieces of advice to help you navigate your way as you start your professional journey.
- Learn Patience: Things take time. Rome was not built in one day. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to learn anything with competence. Focus on learning, focus on investing in the future. If you want the future to arrive yesterday, it might not ever arrive. Everyday think about “what did I learn” and never forget that key to a good life is ‘lifelong learning’.
- You might be the smartest person in the world, but if you cannot work with people well, if you cannot communicate, cannot write, and cannot speak in a way that conveys your thoughts, either nobody will know, or nobody will want to know anything from you. It is not what you say, but much more often, how you say it, that matters. How are you improving yourself so that you are more likable, and people are more willing to listen to what you say? Think about that.
- Integrity is what you do when nobody is looking. Whenever you are in doubt on whether you are doing the right thing, think “if my mother, brother or friend were here, would they support what I am doing?” One of the best pieces of advice I got from a boss of mine many years back was ‘I hate small lies’. There is no reason to lie. Sometimes not lying takes a little bit more effort. Take that effort. Do not lie. Small lies lead to larger lies and there is no end after that.
- Do your job. Do your job well. Then help your teammates do their job better, and then see if you can help your boss do his or her job better. Then help your boss’s colleagues do their job better. You will have a great and successful career.
- Always remember that you have multiple roles in your life. You are a person working in a company, you are also a Son/Daughter/Brother and a Sister. A friend. Your responsibility is to all your stakeholders in society and how you do one thing is typically how you do everything. Do not forget to call you mother and father regularly, thank them for what they have done. As we get busy in life, we tend to forget those who made us possible. Don’t fall in that crevice.
- In the first 15 years of one’s career people tend to do enormous damage to their health. You are young and feel you are invincible. But the way you look after your health now will determine how your body looks after when you are 40 years old. Age 40 seems like a long way off, but it will come in a flash. And you cannot relive the past. Eat well, exercise, mediate. Nourish the soul and the body. It will help you lead a productive life ahead,
- In every interaction learn something from those around you. There is always something to learn from in any situation. Also, in every interaction, give something. The easiest thing to give is ‘positivity’ and a 'smile'. Make people feel better that they met you today. When you have a cup of Tea in a restaurant, look into the eyes of the server, ask for their name, and say thank you to them by name. When you get off an airplane, look into the eyes of the Flight Attendant and say ‘Thank you’ for taking care of you during the flight. You will be surprised how happy you will make them. We are privileged to be part of this world. Thank everybody who makes that possible.
- Life is not easy and throws challenges at us. We all feel we are more unfortunate than other people. Universally. That is not true. Every human being has challenges. Our misery is only our lack of appreciation of the misery of others. We are fortunate. Every day. Write a ‘Diary’ to yourself regularly. If possible, every day. You will be amazed at how that will help you manage the challenges that life throws at you.
- Remember ‘you can fool some people all of the time’, ‘fool all people some of the time’, but ‘you cannot fool all people all of the time.’ I think when we try to fool other people, we are only fooling ourselves. Do not be tempted with that. Be true to yourself.
- We all want success. You cannot get success for yourself unless you are intensely focused on the success of others. Success of your team, of your organization and of your customer. You will get success and happiness.
Starting your career as a young intern can be overwhelming, but it is important to remember that with patience, hard work, and a positive attitude, you can achieve great things. Always be open to learning, communicate effectively, and take care of yourself and others. And most importantly have a lot of fun. Enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy.
With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to building a successful career. Here’s wishing you all the very best that life has to offer !!