Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how important it is that you get on with the people you work with. On reflection, I spend a good chunk of my day, 5 days a week with the same 5 people. So getting on with them is important, not only for the business to work efficiently but also for my own sanity! i recently read in an article that, our jobs are the third biggest determinant of our happiness. Anyone who knows anything about what it takes to be an event manager will know that being a team player is one of the most important characteristics to have as no event can be done successfully all on your own – as seen below.
So never has it been truer than in the events industry to make sure you get on with your colleagues. This in turn led me to think about how this can be made harder when you’re ‘the intern’. You often aren’t viewed as being on the same level of the rest of your colleagues and as a result aren’t treated great. Established event professionals often seem to underestimate the value of interns. For example, with the London 2012 Olympics, it’s success relied heavily on volunteers and interns. When people are treating you as ‘less than’ it can make working with your colleagues as a team very hard.
As I’m sure some of you reading this blog are either contemplating doing a placement, currently applying for placements, doing a placement as we speak or have recently completed one. Therefore, this post should be quite relevant for most of you. We all know ourselves that we are more than capable of making more than just teas and coffees! So if you are in a placement and your colleagues are undervaluing you, speak up! It can be difficult but most placements last at least 9 months and so it’s vital that you make the most of your time there which can’t be done if you are constantly at war with those on your team. If you don’t you’ll simply hate everyday and either end up miserable or quitting. Which leads me to my next point. If you have spoken up and still feel disrespected then don’t be afraid to quit. Life is too short to spend everyday dreading going into work. You can always find another job and in the event that you have lasted 9 months of say a 12 month placement then quit, your time at this awful organisation will count towards your placement year and you can always find a shorter internship to make sure you get a year’s full of experience.
What do others say?
An article I read in a magazine not long ago said this:
“Those who regard themselves as too important to communicate, network and engage with students while they are at university will come to regret it once those same students have graduated, become successful and are in the position to offer jobs and contracts themselves.”
Essentially what the writer is saying is that we are the future of the events industry! Hopefully more people like this guy will start to recognise that.
A blog I read said this:
“Whilst you need to make sure you operate professionally and engage fully with your placement (i.e. do anything that’s asked of you!), you do need to make sure that you’re time and skills aren’t abused. Remember that volunteering should be a win-win situation, not simply an opportunity for a company to get free labour.”
You have to value yourself! This reiterated what I said earlier about speaking up if you don’t feel appreciated by your colleagues.
In this post I’ve spoken about how important it is to get on with your colleagues and fell valued in your organisation, even if you’re an intern. Internships and placements are all about increasing your learning and understanding of working in the industry which simply cannot be achieved by filing everyday. Whilst I encourage you to do everything that’s asked of you by your colleagues – within reason… Don’t let them take advantage of you either! So what if you don’t get on with them? Here are a list of 10 tips that can maybe improve your situation from a Forbes article. If they don’t work then perhaps it’s time to quit?
Thanks for reading,