In today’s fast-paced business world, doing a full-time internship can be sometimes stressful. Especially for first-time interns in a professional environment. Therefore, the unknown of what to expect on the first day is enough to cause major anxiety for a week. It is obvious that interns need to impress all of the new people they meet. Furthermore, taking on the challenge to work in a new business environment culture takes it up a notch.
Effective stress management is the best way to stay ahead in a challenging environment, to become a leader or manager. If you are feeling stressed in your personal and professional life, then make sure to analyze the roots of stress and take proactive steps to deal with it.
Discover how to deal with stress at your internship by following these tips:
- Prepare yourself for an internship
- Construct healthy habits a priority
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help
- Ignore office gossip
- Work smarter, not harder
- Brain dump each day
(1) Prepare yourself for an internship
Internship days will be different from going to college. Likewise, in college, there is plenty of time but at the internship, your time is not your own. The times will be dedicated to the projects assigned by the superiors and attending last-minute meetings. So, if you don’t prepare in advance, then there is no final chance to squeeze in the work, and can’t play catch up. The ultimate solution is to plan ahead and work ahead. Simultaneously, there will be no room for unnecessary stress by procrastinating and being unprepared for each day.
(2) Construct healthy habits a priority
These healthy habits include talking, eating, sleeping, and exercising. However, all three can have a good impact on your stress levels. If these are not maintained and ignored then it can have a negative impression on your professional life. Schedule days so that you are on time for bed and get a good night’s sleep for another day for the internship. Participating in other activities gives a break to your brain and encourages you to work more efficiently. Other activities such as joining a gym, an intramural sports league, or going for a run are good for health.
(3) Don’t hesitate to ask for help
It may happen that interns are assigned a project and they are clueless about where to start. Terrifying! The first tendency is to stress over it and try to figure it out on your own. It is completely fine because you are an intern and not supposed to know everything. It is better to ask for help from your supervisor. It is a golden opportunity for introverts because they have to come out of their shell to survive in the corporate world. Do not hesitate to ask for advice or feedback. The feeling of getting judged is quite normal but always remember internship means learning new experiences.
(4) Ignore office gossip
It seems a quick and easy way to fit in with your new colleagues. Sometimes it can reflect poorly on you as well as become toxic. As a result, a toxic work environment equals stress. So, avoiding gossip is doing a favor to oneself. Every office has an annoying co-worker so the best way is to vent out and it is healthy to do so. However, make sure you are venting to someone completely unrelated to your work environment and maintain it short. Just blow off that steam, be done with it, and get back to work.
(5) Work smarter, not harder
Harvard Business Review recommends enforcing Premack’s Principle in your day to make it less stressful. What is Premack’s Principle? “Premack’s principle is to use an easier behavior as a reward for a harder behavior. Thereby organizing your day by rotating between tasks that intimidate you to enjoy simple tasks.
For instance, if you are a social media marketing intern, you might feel stressed while preparing reports on monthly analytics. So search for an alternative task you enjoy such as following the report-writing, collecting stunning visual inspiration on Pinterest to help create a campaign mood board, and more. As a result, rewarding yourself in the form of work enables you to whittle away your to-do list and leads to balancing the stress of your internship positively.
(6) Brain dump each day
During the time of internship, a lot of information will be thrown on your plate. It is quite normal to become overwhelmed by this. The best method to combat the overwhelm, and decrease your stress, is to write down the pointers on paper. Writing a journal and documenting your daily internship interactions helps you to keep a record of your previous and upcoming tasks. It is good to have a reference to what you have learned. At the end of the day, take a moment at the end of each day for a brain dump. Also, it enables you to relax without the constant worry that you are forgetting to do something.
The road ahead:
So, start chipping away at the internship stress with a few of these techniques. The good news is, when you look back at the end of the internship then you will have a good laugh about how stressful it was when you started. That is the excellent thing about internships, you grow so much.
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