Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

My Career Needs

Through my internship this summer, I learned a great deal about my work habits as well as what I want in a career. This is invaluable information as it will help me focus on what type of career to look for and what type of company culture will allow me to best succeed. Please note that these are my personal preferences and will probably differ from what you are looking for in a career.

First, I realized that I need a dynamic career. I cannot work on the same thing every single day. I need to constantly be challenged and experiencing new things rather than keeping an everyday routine. I was more enthusiastic when I was given something new to work on because there was room for learning and growth.

Second, I prefer whole projects. I want to do something from beginning to end and this is because my motivation is intrinsic. That means if I am seemingly trusted with a project and I am held responsible for it, I am more likely to do a better job. For example, at my internship I had to call clients and convince them to improve their life insurance policy. When I was only tasked with calling various people, I did not get as much out of it as I had hoped. However, when my division manager just gave me files and I had to run the illustrations and see how their policies can improve, I was much more passionate about it when I finally called the clients because I handled their files from beginning to end. I was more invested.

Third, I need to feel like I am making an impact. I need to be able to contribute my ideas and visions rather than just doing so-called “busy work.” I want to feel like I am providing value to whichever company I work for. One thing I did at my internship was actually recruiting college graduates. I came up with that idea because I realized that if I am able to bring in a new financial advisor, I would make a lasting impact and would increase revenue significantly for my division manager, more so than if I just got a few clients here and there. By doing so, I was also able to be creative about how I went about this self-assigned project so I was more involved.

Lastly, I work better when I am recognized for my accomplishments. I am more willing to work when I do hear words of affirmation from my manager so I know if I am doing something right and/or doing something well.

This is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I learned through my internship. Now, I have more of a grasp on what I want and how to make myself work more efficiently. I feel like the organizational psychology  is often overlooked by students when they are choosing a career or company.