Invest In Interns NOW For Reliable Hires LATER

One of my clients was recently looking for a new job. The close connection she formed with her internship manager 5 YEARS AGO paid off for both of them.

She was hired to work with her original internship organization – and the organization can be confident in the quality of her hire because they’ve known her for years. In our current talent market, this connection is PRICELESS.

Many Gen Z (25-and-under-crowd) often have had their school career laid out step by step by step. And when there’s not that a clear ‘next’ step, they sometimes don’t know what to do.

As a manager, you have the opportunity to help somebody work through uncertainty and find the ‘next’ step.

You just never know when maybe you’re going to need an employee five years from now and your previous intern or somebody that worked for you for six months is going to be just the person that you need!

If you’re having a hard time motivating people, here’s one thing that you can do: ask.

  • Ask what somebody’s interested in,
  • What they’re hoping to do long term,
  • Where they want to be in five years,
  • What are they hoping to get from this internship or from this job?

Asking some of those open ended questions and then stopping and listening. Really listen. (Note: for best results, don’t look at a screen during this conversation.)

A lot of times, when we ask questions and we’re having a conversation, we often think, “Well, this is the next point I want to make,” or, “this is the next thing that I want to say.”

This keeps you from actually listen to what the other person is saying.

I really struggle with this a lot. I still struggle with this. Sometimes I literally have to sit on my hands so that I just remember to focus.

Looking the person in the face or in the eye is really helpful. If you have to talk to somebody on the phone, making sure that you are in a space where you can just be listening and not be doing 15 other things while you’re also talking to them, that also helps too.

Listening and actually engaging in a conversation is worth the effort.

    There’s a pretty good chance that some of the intern’s or employee’s five year goals are going to align with something that your organization is doing.

    Or maybe not. But, you might know somebody that you can connect the intern/employee with in the field that might be able to help them get to where they want to go.

    Or, maybe there’s a way that you can pull the intern/employee in on a different project or give them a little bit of a different assignment, knowing what their long-term interests are.

All of this effort helps them get engaged: it can make all the difference to your organization, because you’re going to have somebody who is genuinely excited about the work that they’re doing.

All this effort can be a great way for you to strengthen your relationship with the individual.

I think sometimes we don’t appreciate how awesome it is for both parties to be able to work with somebody who is younger. It can be definitely challenging, but young people bring so much to the table and so much genuine curiosity. A lot of times, they’re not maybe quite as jaded as we get sometimes when we have been working for longer.

This is all the more reason to cultivate a relationship when you find somebody who you think has a lot of potential, even if they don’t know everything that you want them to know yet.


Remember to take a deep breath.

Times are weird, but we’re going to get through it one step at a time.

Keep rocking and I look forward to connecting with you here soon.

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