I’ve been interning at a company for a few months. It’s a thrilling opportunity and I’m passionate about the work that I do there, but I feel under-appreciated a lot. It’s unpaid, my supervisor hardly comments on my work and the workplace culture is very passive in general. The only people I really talk to are the other interns. I don’t want to be a quitter, but I’m not sure how much I can grow in a company like this.
Dear Irritated Intern,
I think that intern culture has really made it difficult to tell recently what you deserve from an internship and what they deserve from you. You should be learning, have clear communication channels with your supervisor about your questions and your performance, as well as a vision for opportunity for you in the future in the company. It sounds like you have none of this. What a company should expect from you is aid in their tasks, someone who wants to be a team player, and someone who wants to learn how to be an effective employee. It sounds like they are asking none of this from you. The whole point of interning is a return of investment on both ends. What I want to emphasize is that you are a young intern. One messed up experience should not make you so frustrated. If this internship is not for credit, you have every right to leave just as any paid employee does. You are also not expected to make lemonade out of this, that is literally NOT your job, it is your supervisor’s job. I also want to emphasize that it is great that you have found something you are passionate about so young! So many people struggle to find this for years. You seem as if you have a strong sense of self, which means you should be confident that you want more for yourself in the future. The great thing about living in modern times is that if you do not like something the way it is, you can change that. You can find the work you like to do at another company with a better company culture who wants to help you and vice versa. I think you should make lemonade for yourself, not for a company who barely recognizes your presence.
How do I keep from going back to my toxic friendship? I think of the good times and wonder if we can still be friends, but then I remember how toxic she was and how mean she could be to me. Maybe I’m just lonely – but sometimes I find myself wanting the reconnect, even though I know it wasn’t a healthy relationship and I know she’ll never change.
Dear Lonely Laura,
I think first you first need to stop using the word “friendship.” Words have weight and if she has been so bad to you, then it does not deserve that title. I think you need to also realize that while you may like her for the good times, you very much do not respect. You simply should not try to have a relationship with someone you do not respect. Everyone loves to be nostalgic, but it is only a biased memory. You seem to know the reality of this. Actual steps to execute may be to block her on everything; this might seem dramatic, but if she is really so horrible then you do not need to be seeing what she is doing. This also eliminates chances of reconnecting with her. The next step would be to remember all of the amazing friends you have! The ones that care about you and would never be mean to you. If you are still feeling lonely, reach out to local groups and activities to make new friends. People who are occupied with hobbies with you probably are not going to be toxic people who have the extra energy to be mean.
Send in questions to Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.