If you’re a spring intern, you’re likely just starting your position. As you get into the swing of things, it might be tempting to relax your sense of urgency. You’re expected to arrive at 8:30, but your arrivals start turning into 8:32, then 8:35…don’t let this happen! Spring internships have the potential to turn into something more. After spring comes summer, which means if you play your cards right, your employer could ask you to stay on as a summer intern. For those who are graduating in May, it could turn into an employment offer. So if you relax your standards, it could impact your likelihood of staying on!
“It’s just a few minutes…”
You might think that no one will care if you come in at 9:35 instead of 9:30, but tardiness has adverse effects. “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, you’re fired,” was a popular saying with an old manager of mine. I know it sounds harsh, but this is the attitude you need to have. You should always plan to be a few minutes early. When an employer says they want you at work at a specific time, it doesn’t mean that should be the time you walk in the door. It means you should be at your workspace, with your things put away, ready to start!
Tardiness can have negative effects.
Arriving late can build up frustration with your new employer. Consistently showing up past your expected time signals one of two things to your superiors: you’re too lazy to care about moving quickly to get to work; or your planning skills are terrible. Even if it’s not true, your employer will perceive it that way. There’s a simple solution to always being late in the morning: get up earlier. When you refuse to do something that simple, your superiors will wonder what else you’ll slack off on. If you have a consistent problem arriving on time from class, or due to scheduling issues, talk to your supervisor about changing the time you’re expected to come in. It’s better than being tardy!
In the end, most people are aware of the importance of being on time. But it’s easy to relax your standards as your internship progresses. This is what can hurt your chances in the long run. Stay on top of things, and remain consistent with your punctuality. After all, employers don’t ask interns to stay on at the beginning of their internship – they ask at the end!