Should you quit your internship?
Your boss had a go at you for getting the coffee order wrong,
You’ve been mindlessly typing numbers into a spreadsheet for hours, had lunch on your own and now you have to walk home because you can’t afford the tube at peak times. Your internship is rubbish and you want out. But should you really quit? Before you make any rash decisions, ask yourself these questions:
Have you learnt anything new after your first day?
With the exception of your first day, when you will have been shown the ropes, have you acquired any new skills? An internship (especially an unpaid one) is all about learning more within your chosen field. You’re not getting paid, so what are you getting out of it? Keep in mind though that asking questions is a big part of the learning process, sometimes you have to show your employer that you’re keen to learn before they make the effort to teach.
Are you just being lazy?
Full time internships are HARD. They are basically jobs that you don’t get paid enough for. It sucks, but a lot of times it’s worth it. Think about whether it’s the work itself, or waking up at 7am every day that’s putting you off.
Have you made any friends?
A lot of the time it’s the people that make the internship, not the job itself. You can have the best day ever doing admin work if you’re laughing about last night’s episode of Made in Chelsea with your work friends. If you’re not enjoying yourself, try chatting to a new person in the office. All you need is that one person to make things entertaining.
How long have you been there?
Two months into your three month internship? Think about those two months of your life and all the time, energy and money you will have wasted if you quit now. Stick with it for the last month to guarantee that reference and a MAJOR sense of accomplishment.
How much is it costing you a day?
If you are interning with a company they need to, at the very least, be covering your travel and lunch. Some interns get offered as little as £5 a day to ‘cover’ these expenses, if you are having to commute to work or travel at peak times in London this is never going to be enough. If you hate your internship, don’t feel like you are gaining anything from it and on top of that can barely even afford to get to the office, it’s probably time to start looking elsewhere.
How much work are you given compared to a paid member of staff?
Sometimes knowing whether or not to jump ship is simple. Are your employers taking advantage of you? Legally, you should be paid at least minimal wage if you are doing the same amount of work as an actual employee. Don’t be a sucker, if you’ve got the skills that make you as valuable as someone actually ON the payroll, you deserve to be on it too.
Ultimately, it’s not up to us whether you should get out of there or not. We suggest talking to a trusted teacher, parent or colleague about your feelings before making any major decisions that you might regret. Even the best jobs in the world kinda suck sometimes, welcome to the world of work!