Should I Take a Boring Internship?

‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com. Dear J.T. & Dale: I applied for a few spring internships and only heard back from one. The interview went well, and I feel I'll get the position. Unfortunately, this internship is the least interesting of the three I applied for. Even though I don't think I'll enjoy myself, should I take it? — Ryan Dale: Well, Ryan, my first choice for this spring would be to play point guard for the Boston Celtics, but I haven't heard back, so I guess I'll do something less enjoyable. Here's the point: What are your alternatives? You don't have any? Get some. Accept the internship, but meanwhile keep looking. And while "interesting" is one good decision criterion, I wouldn't ignore the bigger question: Will the internship help advance you toward an energizing first-career job? J.T.: I had a college senior approach me last year with the same dilemma you're facing, Ryan. He wanted to get into event production, and applied for a number of internships. However, the only offer he got was from a local DJ company, owned by an older gentleman whose business was declining and who was looking for young people to help breathe life back into his operation. The office and company seemed lifeless, and the work boring — in short, NOT an exciting prospect. But I told the student that it was PERFECT. He was shocked, until I explained why: This was an opportunity to showcase his strengths by really helping a business and thus having an experience he could effectively market when looking for a job after college. He and another intern spent the summer helping the company land new gigs and implement new marketing. He developed lots of contacts, learned a lot about the financial side of the business, and came away thinking it had been an ideal experience. Dale: Great example, and you know what? There's a life lesson in that story: There's nothing more engaging, more enlivening — more truly interesting — than being able to make a difference. jt-dale-logo Jeanine "J.T." Tanner O'Donnell is a professional development specialist and founder of CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten's latest book is "(Great) Employees Only: How Gifted Bosses Hire and De-Hire Their Way to Success" (John Wiley & Sons). Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via e-mail, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10019. © 2009 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less

Back in March, we made the hard decision to change our private Facebook group of over 37 THOUSAND members to a fee-based only platform.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if a recruiter called you a day EARLY for your phone interview (and you were NOT PREPARED!)

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you caught our last video in our latest series, "Well This Happened..." you heard about the problem one of our viewers is having with their co-worker. To recap, they have a colleague that overshares a little too much, and they weren't sure how to go about addressing this. We had some great responses from our viewers on how they think our friend should handle this. Check out the answer below and let us know if you guessed right or not!

SHOW MORE Show less

Negotiating salary can be a scary, intimidating experience. However, if you go in prepared, it doesn't have to be that way - you can confidently negotiate for a salary you deserve. But how?

SHOW MORE Show less