One of the most important things that OJTs can get out of their internship, more than the technical skills, are work ethics. These are as essential as any of the other skills you are going to learn. Without these, your internship will be in vain, and you will not have learned anything at all after two or three months. To those who will be having their OJTs in the coming semester, and to those who are still having them, here are just some of the most important OJT blunders that you will have to avoid for you to learn the proper work ethics.
1.Being late and not informing your direct supervisor about it. A lot of college students get away with tardiness in their college classes, partly because some professors are more lenient to their attendance. But that doesn’t mean that it is allowable in the workplace. Being an OJT means that you are accepting the role of a regular employee, and forgetting about being a student, if only for a few months. That means that you should adhere to the office rules, and not act as if you are going to get away with your tardiness just because you are student. Naturally, the same goes with absences. We all know that in college, excuse letters are not required because depends only the professor. However, during the internship, you are not just going to the office for the sake of completing your hours. You report to the office to have work done, and being absent (and not informing your supervisor about it) will affect the work of everyone else in the office.
2.Not adhering to dress codes. Some students think that they will look cool dressing like a teenager in the workplace because they will standout from everyone else, but that’s wrong. Your internship is a perfect place for you to learn how to dress properly for when you’re already working. Following the dress code in the office not only creates a good impression to your superiors but also gives you a sense of being professional, puts you in a good mood and lets you do your job better. In short, it’s win-win situation.
3.Using social networking sites in the office. It’s unbelievable but there are some interns who actually think it’s okay to log in to Facebook or use Yahoo! Messenger while in the office, even when the bosses are around. It’s not ethical by default, even if your boss doesn’t call your attention because of it. You have to take it upon yourself to know these things because there is no superpower dictating that these are wrong. It only takes logic to realize it.
4.Not being courteous to superiors. There are OJTs who don’t greet their superiors good morning or even say hello when they meet at the corridors, on account of their being shy. But that shouldn’t be the case, because, believe me, no one should be shy enough to not even greet someone good morning unless it’s a pathological condition, in which case should be reported to the supervisors to be dealt with accordingly. Another courtesy issue is OJTs saying â€œnoâ€ to work given to them. While we are not perfect and cannot do everything that will be assigned to us, a little effort in trying wouldn’t hurt. It could actually go a long way, instead of rejecting the request of your boss flatly. Even if you can’t do the job, tell your boss that you are not sure if you can, but you will still try. That way, if ever you really can’t accomplish it, at least you gave your boss the heads up, and if you do accomplish it, then you learned something new.
5.Not having respect for office property. You are going to work in an office and going to use some of the office equipment. It is just proper that you take care whatever you use in there because a) it’s not yours, b) you will be liable for anything you break or lose, and c) it’s not a good impression if you do.
6.Badmouthing the company after the OJT experience. Not all OJTs will have a wonderful experience with their internship, that’s the bitter truth. But that’s not an excuse to tell all your friends how much of an annoyance your boss had been, or how your office life had been like a concentration camp where all sources of happiness have been sucked dry. Not only will this reflect a bad reputation on YOU, but it might also be a cause of bad karma for you in the future. Moreover, even if you did have a bad experience during your internship, it still doesn’t follow that you didn’t learn anything. Every experience, may it be bad or good, is a learning experience. So if you can’t look at your internship any other way, at least look at it that way.
There are more things to learn during your OJT, so don’t neglect the simple office rules because they will come in handy in the future when you’re already working on your full-time job. So better keep these things in mind to help you cope with office life easier in the future. You may not believe it right now, but it will help you later on.