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You’ve landed an internship at a great Australian company. If you’ve enjoyed your time in the role, there’s a good chance you’ll want to turn your internship into a permanent job offer.
It’s a sentiment many young professionals share. With more than half of all Australians doing unpaid work experience at some point in their career, there are countless graduates who want to kick start their career from an internship position. However, this also means there’s often fierce competition and companies can’t take on every intern within their team.
Turning student internships and graduate internships into a permanent role is possible. However, you need to start the conversation and prove yourself as indispensable to the company.
If you’re looking to land a permanent role from your internship, here’s what you should keep in mind.
Working for free is common for graduates and young professionals in Australia, but is it actually legal? According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, unpaid internships are only legal if they’re part of a vocational placement. This means the main purpose of the unpaid internship should be to provide you with a meaningful learning experience, training or skill development.
Internships are designed to provide you with hands-on experience within an organisation, and should only last for a set amount of time. As an intern, you should be receiving the main benefit from the relationship.
If the company expects any level of productivity from you — for example, finishing work that the company charges clients for — or if you’re doing tasks that are also done by paid employees, then a paid employment relationship exists and you should be reimbursed for the hours you have worked.
Therefore, before taking on an internship ensure you do you due diligence and enquire about the tasks and responsibilities, as you may be offered a paid internship position.
RELATED: The benefits of interning
Not all interns want full-time roles — some are looking to get a feel for the industry or just want to gain experience during their studies. If you definitely want to continue working at the company in a paid capacity, make your intentions clear to your supervisor so they’re aware from the start and they can keep an eye out for permanent opportunities within the company.
During the interview process or at the beginning of your internship, ask if there are any opportunities for high performing interns to secure an entry-level job – importantly, take note of what they’re looking for, so you can work and operate beyond their expectations.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to make the decision right away. In some cases, it’s best to get a feel for the company culture and the team first. If you’ve excelled in your internship and decide you’d like to continue working there, set aside time in a one-to-one meeting with your supervisor to express your interest in a permanent position. There are no guarantees, but there’s no harm in starting the conversation. In addition, there may not currently be a job opening by the end of your internship, but employees move jobs all the time so you may be contacted to fill that spot later on.
During the interview process, there are a few questions you can ask to gauge the potential of a post-internship job opportunity:
The difference between interns who get hired and those who don’t often comes down to one thing: great interns demonstrate they’re indispensable to the company. With that in mind, here are some techniques you can use to increase your chances of getting hired:
Above all, remember that landing a permanent role from your internship is not an entitlement but the sum of all your hard work, great attitude, connecting with the team, and proactively putting yourself out there for a permanent job, coinciding with an opening or opportunity to add headcount.
Remember to put your best foot forward during your internship, follow the tips above and treat the experience as though you will be offered a permanent role at the end — you never know where it may take you.
Looking for paid work opportunities? Browse our latest graduate jobs in Australia.
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