7 Career Lessons You Can Learn From The Movie “The Intern”
Interns. Most companies have started hiring college students or college graduates to get a new point of view on their departments and provide students with valuable work experience. When joining the JSG family as an intern my goal was of course to learn skills that would help advance my career, but also make an impact on the company in the best way I could. But can you really learn something from someone who is just starting or recently returning to their career? The movie The Intern would argue that you can.
Here are some lessons to keep in mind:
1. Crazy Interview Questions
Sometimes when interviewing for a new job, you will get asked some crazy questions. In these moments keep calm and work through the awkwardness. Stay on topic and answer the question to the best of your ability. There is always a reason you’re being asked whether it’s clear in the moment or not. Even in these types of questions always be true to yourself. When you are talking about items that you understand, you will naturally be more comfortable and create real connections with the recruiter, thus making yourself more memorable.
2. “The Key is to Keep Moving”
In any job or career path there are moments when you’ll feel stuck or lost. But as Ben reminds us, the key is to keep moving forward. Yes, that’s been told approximately 1,000 times before, but it’s the truth. Stepping stones from one position to the next. In these moments of frustration, ask for advice from those around you. Remember that a company is a team effort not a one-man shop. No one is capable to accomplish everything by themselves.
3. “I know there is a hole in my life and I need to fill it soon”
There is a real strength in knowing who you are. Not only on a personal level, but being aware of how you learn or what job environment you excel in, will push you to see what is needed in your life. Don’t be afraid to try something new and exciting! Sometimes you’ll never know you’re good at something until you try it.
4. Celebrate Wins – Company and Personal
When the company completed a new goal in “The Intern,” they would ring a bell. Now, maybe bell ringing isn’t your cup of tea, but it is a way to share and celebrate your wins. Picture this… you’re sitting in your desk and then all the sudden a bell starts ringing! Wouldn’t you wonder what in the world it was for? It captures your team member’s attention (including your boss), which is the ultimate goal. Keeping a constant positive outlook will increase the joy of not just within yourself but throughout those around you. Congratulate yourself on small or big tasks and you will go far.
5. “Wow…I didn’t see this coming”
Every day is something different at work. Sometimes employees get stuck on the details of the process and forget the big picture. With each project you are given, remember there is a bigger process. If something changes in your daily plans, learn how to cope and adjust. Now, unlike the movie where Ben is driving Jules to work, your new adventure could be the task of creating a new marketing strategy or finding 30 new hires by the end of the month. These tasks may seem frightening at first, but taking it one step at a time will help you see the unexpected.
6. “You are never wrong to do the right thing”
This may originally be a Mark Twain quote, but it’s still as powerful as ever. There are always multiple ways to accomplish a task. Thinking differently in these moments will help you stand out. Take the path that may seem more difficult and you will be rewarded.
7. Dress to Impress
Now this has always been a rule for interviews and day 1 on the job, but Ben demonstrates it perfectly — never quit dressing to impress. This skill will get you places you never thought you could go. It’s becoming less popular to wear a full “old-school” suit to work, BUT there is something about dressing up for work that creates a new driving atmosphere and makes you realize new points of view. Remember, if you’re stuck on a project and want a new perspective – maybe try dressing up one day, you never know what will make an idea pop in your head!