The first week of an internship comes with an incredible amount of changes. You have to make sure you are dressed properly, make sure you are on time, eat breakfast before you leave home, and after you get to work, your day has just started. With all of these things to manage, it’s highly likely that you’ve had a bad day, and if are like me and haven’t had one yet, sit tight, one is coming. But this isn’t a bad thing. I hope to provide some tips on how to get through a bad day while working in the office. The key to surviving a bad day at work is performance.
Picture your bad day, maybe there was bad weather, you were particularly stressed out, or maybe, you just woke up in a bad mood. You really don’t want to be at work interacting with others, but the connections you make with your co-workers is arguably the most important part of your internship. As a summer intern you have a very limited amount of time to make a really good impression on the people you work with, frankly, you can’t afford to have a bad day. But here you are, having that bad day that you cant afford to have.
So, how do you make it through? Performance. You have to perform as if you aren’t having a bad day. At first, it may sound obvious, but I promise it is actually a really helpful tip. If you are having a bad day, then it is necessary that you take on the character of “The Amazingly Engaged and Thorough Intern.” You are probably this intern on all other days, and bad day is not an excuse to stop being this intern. Taking on this character, though, forces you continue this performance and allows you to remain consistent. If we are being honest, you may not be as engaged as you are on a normal day, and that is ok. Consider a scenario in which you are in an important meeting on a bad day, it may be hard for you to focus and you find yourself bored in this meeting. If you remain yourself in this scene, you will be noticeably unengaged. But if you realize that you have to preform, you keep your head up, make eye contact with the speakers, nod your head, and take notes, you appear as if you are engaged. This appearance makes all of the difference. Keep in mind, this tip only works if you really become an actor, separating yourself from your bad day, and really becoming another person who isn’t having a bad day. If you perform well enough, you might find that you actually start to have a good day.
Now it might sound as if I am encouraging you to speed through your internship only appearing to be engaged without actually being engaged. This is NOT what I am saying. It is your job to be engaged, and performance allows you be engaged on days when its extremely difficult for you to be. Using performance is not accepting excuses from yourself; regardless of your personal situation, you must remain professional. Performance can help you get through that horrible day, without anyone noticing that you were having a bad day in the first place. Get through this day, and tomorrow will be a better one.