Darkness now comes at 4:30 p.m. and the winter winds of December are creeping in (or so they are supposed to be), signifying that my journey with Imagewest is about to end. It has been a whirlwind to say the least. The best description I can come up with is jumping out of an airplane. Yes, a high airplane.
When I first began Imagewest, it was a rush all at once as I was thrown in a whole, new world consumed by creativity, strategic communication and lots of advertising. I let myself fall into the beauty amidst chaos and held on tight. Yet, before I knew it months had flown by, and too soon I had to start bracing for impact. Which has led me to the question you and everyone will and continually will have to ask.
Now what? Now that you’re done with the internship, shadow or short-term job, what do you do now?
Your lives are not over, just another stepping-stone. But how do we transition in stride to our next endeavor and use that experience for a future job?
Let’s keep it simple.
- REFLECT. THEN, REFLECT AGAIN. It takes weeks, or even months, to process everything you’ve experienced. Take time to reflect on everything, and journal what you’ve learned. Not just about the industry but also about yourself, what you enjoyed and what you didn’t.
- SAY THANK-YOU. It is a good idea to go to individuals who you met, worked for and worked with during your internship to say a personal “thank-you.” If someone was a personal mentor and took interest in you during your time in the shop, tell them how much you appreciated it. Ask them for a critique of your performance and advice for moving forward.
- COLLECT CONTACT INFORMATION. Once your internship is over and you are out the door, unfortunately, the chances are you’re out of sight and out of mind. So it is your job to stay in touch. If they are open, ask what is the best way and time to reach them. Once you get the contact information, don’t abuse it. Use it judiciously and be prepared when you reach them.
- BE READY AND STAY IN TOUCH. Keep your resume updated and ready. People change jobs and when they do it means a position is open and also that your contact is moving to a new place that might also have a position. So keep them updated on your professional changes. If there isn’t a job in the shop where you are working, someone might know of another job opportunity.