Are You Unhappy in Your Current Internship?

Here are Some Suggestions On Ways You Can Try to Make it Better

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If you are experiencing problems with your internship and it's not what you expected, it’s important to figure out what the problem is and see if you can come up with a positive solution.

Since an internship is usually a short-term experience, is there a way that you can transform your view of the experience by changing your perspective? There are many people who hate their jobs but do them because they have to. Since internships generally last only 10 – 12 weeks, perhaps the learning experience would make it worth staying, rather than quitting early, given that you’ll be able to gain some relevant work experience in your field of interest and hopefully get a positive reference you can use when you apply for future jobs.

What Can I Do If I Find My Supervisor Difficult to Work For?

It may help to first identify the problem. Do you find that your supervisor is authoritative or insensitive or is it more of a personality problem?

For example, suppose you are finding it difficult working with a certain supervisor because you feel that he/she is always making suggestions leaving you little room to do your own thing and no chance to use your own creativity. Is it a possibility that you can think of the situation more in a way that the supervisor is taking an interest in you and really wants to help you learn all that you can while working as an intern? Of course, there are managers that can make your life difficult and no matter what way you look at it, it’s going to be a challenge.

I’m not talking about these situations but more in terms of the supervisor who may not know that he/she tends to micromanage and rather than being a mentor whose primary responsibility is to help train you by offering support and guidance, tends to give assignments with an expectation that there’s only one way to complete the work which unfortunately reduces the amount of learning that takes place on the job since, as an intern, you are more concerned about what the supervisor wants rather than ways that you can complete the job to the best of your ability.

Here Are Some Recommendations on What You Can Do If You Are Unhappy in Your Current Internship

  • Speak with your supervisor to discuss any difficulties you are having. Perhaps your supervisor can provide insight and offer you suggestions, or he/she may even suggest putting you on a different assignment.
  • Before you make a move, take a step back and try to look at the situation objectively and try asking yourself these questions:

"Why am I so dissatisfied with this internship?"
"Is the internship different than what I expected?"
"Is my supervisor unreasonable and difficult to work for?"
"Is the job so boring that I can't stand going to work each day?"
“Does this internship go against my personal values and beliefs?”
“Is there something I can do that will make this internship a more positive experience?”

Once you have identified the problem, it will be much easier to come up with a solution.

If you find that there is no way that you can stay and complete your internship, be sure to provide your employer with a formal resignation letter and two weeks' notice. You will want to exit gracefully and avoid any unnecessary bad feelings between you and the employer.

By behaving professionally, you will maintain the respect of your supervisor and will feel more confident in your ability to handle uncomfortable situations in the future. By acting professionally, you will be able to use your supervisor as a reference in the future and also be able to include the internship as a learning experience when updating your current resume.