How you can turn an internship into permanent job

Q: I just started a summer internship and really want to get a job offer when it’s over. What should I do to get one?

A: First, congrats on your summer internship! Without knowing the industry or your responsibilities, here’s some generic advice. It’s universal and timeless. Work hard. Have a positive attitude. Learn a lot, ask questions. It’s OK to make mistakes — learn from them. Participate. Engage. Demonstrate a solid work ethic.

As for the job offer, continue to work hard and smart from day one, but don’t wait until the last week for a job offer. Your supervisor isn’t a mind reader. You can say something after the internship is in full swing (not necessarily in the first week) that you love interning there and wanted to talk about how you can pursue full-time employment after graduation.

I’ve worked for companies that had a robust internship program so by the end of the summer it was understood interns would receive job offers. In other instances, I’ve seen interns who didn’t work in a robust well-oiled machine intern program and instead needed to make their own opportunities.

Let’s assume it’s the second scenario. Prove yourself by working hard and contributing, again demonstrating a strong work ethic and a can-do attitude. Speak to your boss and communicate your interest in working there. Network internally — ask managers in other departments for coffee to learn about their departments and how they interface with yours. Also, inquire about what your boss looks for to convert you to an employee such as performance metrics, etc.

If you don’t get a job offer, don’t fret. I’ve seen interns get job offers prior to their last internship week and others stay in touch throughout the year and get that coveted job offer closer to the graduation date.

Q: Costs are insane and my salary isn’t increasing. I want to start a side hustle, but how can I manage my time so I don’t burn out?

A: I hear you, it’s crunch time and you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing to boost your pay. The side hustle question has so many facets, but in a nutshell, determine what you need to earn so you can back into the hours. How many hours will you need to work to earn the money you covet and how many hours will you have available to work each week? Set clear boundaries so you’re not doing the side hustle during your employer’s hours. Keeping them completely separate is key. (I know that wasn’t part of your question, but it’s related to hours and needs to be stated.)

Look at your calendar and see what days you prefer to work. Some people prefer to work on the weekends, like waiting tables, whereas other people need their weekends to completely unplug and prefer to pursue their gig during weeknights. So, figure out the hours as well as days you’ll work and how you can factor in downtime. The spare time you have now will be absorbed by your new gig, but it’s still important to leave a cushion so it’s not working 24/7, sleep, eat, shower, repeat.

— Tribune News Service

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