Our advice on what not to do

I decided to write this blog post after an experience while working as an intern at a well-known newspaper. It wasn’t so much what the newspaper did wrong but the actions and behavior of my fellow interns I was working with – which was shocking. One boy was bored and was given no work to do so he sent a message round to everyone in editorial, saying he was bored and had nothing to do. The other walked in on his first day and in a booming voice introduced himself to me and said “I’m not really an intern, well I am acting as one but I have traveled around the world working as a Journalist.” Ahuh??!! Then he proceeded to walk up to the editors desk to introduce himself. The first thing wrong with this was at this newspaper, no one walks up to the editor – not even journalists who had been working there for years – I don’t think he was rude or thought he too good to speak to anyone, it was just because he was incredibly busy. Anyway, so the editor put his hand out to shake the intern’s hand and he responded by putting his arm around his shoulders and smacking the editors back said “alright mate.”

I have always felt that there is an office etiquette that needs to be followed – not only as an intern, but also as an employee, and if you can’t act professionally as an intern, how do you suspect to get a job and be trusted as a fully paid worker?

Here are a few ‘don’t do’ tips:

  • Don’t go up and pester the boss – especially if she/he is very busy. At some point they should come up to you. If not, ask a colleague if they could ask for you and find a suitable time if you do want to meet and speak to them.
  • Don’t moan at people for work. If you find yourself sitting there bored, why not come up with some ideas for the company you are working in.
  • Don’t keep looking at Facebook or Twitter on the computer – people walking around the office can see and it doesn’t give a good impression.
  • If you are asked to do a piece of work, don’t huff – show enthusiasm!
  • If you are asked to errands of a more ‘intern’ type, don’t show frustration – again show enthusiasm!

Let’s give companies a reason to pay us!



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