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Since I last posted, I’ve settled into my new Paris job, but some of my colleagues have really surprised me with office behaviour which consequently inspired this post. So here are my key tips to staying professional and not showing that you’re a young inexperienced intern – it really is important if you want to pull off that you really know what you’re doing.

A) Do not speak or mention colleagues on work interfaces unless it is discussing work tasks or projects in a professional sense. This is just a big no no and I cannot believe people actually do this in the work place – it is worth remembering when working online that everything is trackable, therefore if you were to ever be pulled up for something else and it was found you were bad-mouthing a colleague or your manager, well you can guess what could happen.

B) Don’t moan about staying late or taking on extra tasks. Take them as a positive as you’re going to learn something from doing them and whoever gave them to you, should appreciate the fact you spent the time on them. Hours are important, but if you have do a little¬†extra if and when needed over a 6 month internship (providing its not excessive) it can really show you in a good light.

C) Learn to frame suggestions in a good way when you want to oppose an idea. Don’t just huff and disagree. I’m a firm believer of – if you have something to moan about – suggest an alternative. It doesn’t sound great does it “I think that is an awful idea!” “Why? What would you suggest?” “Don’t know”.

D) Turn your phone on silent and place it face down whilst working with a colleague or during the working day unless you’re expecting an important call. There is nothing worse than going to speak to a colleague about work and then just as you’ve started they’re on their phone chatting to friend or replying to their mum while you’re waiting to continue with work.

E) Leave laptops and phones at your desks unless they are on silent or only used to take notes in the meeting. There is nothing more rude than someone tapping away, or their phone ringing whilst someone else is giving a presentation and all it shows is that you’re not really listening at all. If everyone else can wait to reply to messages during the meeting including the CEO, then you can too.

F) Half-hearted just doesn’t really cut it. How can you not see that saying “Nah I can’t be bothered with that”, “rgh this doesn’t work I’m going to leave it” “It’s not very good, but I’ve just done what I was asked to do” is a bad attitude to work. Just giving 100% which is what you should be doing shows up a mile away and makes you stand out.

If you can get these things straight (if you haven’t already) before a getting a full time job after uni you’ll progress quicker and open up more opportunities for yourself. I’ve heard time and time again, people wanting a really good career, but 5 minutes later they’re back at their desk moaning about a simple task or just simply complaining – if you’re going to work your way up its only going to get harder, so¬†making it a piece of cake now will get you ready for that big move.

P.s. don’t forget to have fun and laugh with your colleagues too – this is just as important.

A la prochaine.


Post Author: Jessica

Metcalfe's the name and living in Paris is my game. I love trying a bit of everything, and working and living abroad is no different, so don't be nervous come and join us in the life of endless adventure!