Making the Intern-to-Staffer Leap
Posted at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 20
Capitol Hill offices commonly hire entry-level staff from their field of interns. (No, this is not a paid vs. unpaid internship story, but you can read those here, here and here). So what can an intern do to ensure a smooth transition to full-fledged staffer? Hill Navigator — a former intern herself — offers some words of wisdom below.
Q: I have been interning for a representative for a few months and was recently hired as a full-time staffer. I am beyond excited for my new job, but a little worried about the transition (both for myself and for other staffers) from intern to full time. What can I do to differentiate myself from my past role?
A: Congratulations on the new job. Presumably you’ve been promoted because you did outstanding work as an intern. So keep in mind that the skills and work ethic you exhibited initially are the same ones your office is likely hoping will continue. If you weren’t “too big” to make coffee as an intern, don’t be too big for it as a staffer. And if you excelled at a particular area — be it sorting mail or answering phones — keep doing that now. The new title and responsibilities are a strong testament to your previous success, so be careful not to change your ways too much.
One thing you’ll learn about Capitol Hill is that staffers respond to success. Show that you’re a willing and capable member of the team and they will start to treat you as such. And you’re already starting ahead of the gate — they saw your work and thought you’d be a great fit. Sounds like there is not too much changing you’ll need to do.
Have a question for Hill Navigator? Send it in.