Top 5 Mistakes that Lose Interns Money

I feel like I spend a lot of time letting interns know what they ought to be doing. However, most of these strategies are in direct response to an alternative that loses money. I was having a great chat with a fabulous colleague about money-losing strategies yesterday over lunch. That wonderful chat inspired me to write a blog on the topic. Thanks Lisa Galleazzi!

Here they are, in no particular order: 

  1. Getting caught up in the here-and-now drama. I see a lot of interns who are immersed in horror stories, crazy bureaucracy, workplace relationship issues, etc. They spend so much time on the stress, gossip, and drama that they have no energy to do anything productive to move forward. Often, the issues they are wrapped up in, are REAL issues. What it feels like: Every time you try to solve the issue you feel more hopeless, helpless, angry, and discouraged. How it loses you money: People are not drawn to stress and burnout. If people see and hear you talking about conflict or looking exhausted constantly- they won't think of you when the right job comes up. Even more costly- you may be too wrapped up in the stress mode to be able to search for new opportunities regularly. 
  2. Being so focused on a future hoop, that you don't enjoy the here-and-now. In some ways, this is on the other side of the spectrum. I see interns who are so focused on finishing up hours, or passing an exam, that they put off enjoying their work, or being successful until "I'm Licensed." What it looks like: Feeling anxious about the future. Putting off anything enjoyable in your personal or professional life. What it sounds like: When I'm licensed I will... How it loses you money: You feel so anxious and stuck that you don't believe that good things can happen to you NOW! 
  3. You don't believe in yourself. I have worked with really wonderful people who had a completely negative self-image. Initially, I would feel compelled to try to build up their confidence, eventually I just felt myself pull away and shut down. What it sounds like: Everyone else is more qualified than me... Why would someone see me... the only reason someone sees me is that they can't afford someone better. How it loses you money: If you don't believe good things can happen to you, they won't! If you don't believe you are worthy of investing time, energy, and money into your development- you won't. If you don't believe that you are worthy of an awesome opportunity- others might not either. 
  4. You constantly talk negative. I have met therapists who have SO much to give. However, when all I do is hear them verbalize negative issues... it is hard to feel connected to them. In addition, I honestly worry about referring clients to them, or recommending them for jobs. What it feels like: In this mode, it feels like everyone is out to get you, that you have bad luck, and that everything is out of your control. When you see people who are successful, you feel irritated and jealous. What it looks like: You look around and feel like you are completely normal, because everyone around you is a negative Nancy as well! You draw people to you that are equally pessimistic, and it intensifies the underlying fears and bad habits. How it loses you money: You lose positive references, recommendations for jobs, potential clients, current clients, and the energy to make anything change in your life! You also miss out on meeting people who are successful and gleaning great information from them on how to improve your life. 
  5. You Overshare. Ok... so this is a touchy subject for me... As a healer, I LOVE to hear people's story. However, I have seen too many interns share too much information too fast, and it makes them look like they have poor boundaries. It makes the conversation feel uncomfortable and puts the focus of conversation on the intern. What it feels like: You feel nervous and anxious, you aren't sure what to say, so you simply start talking... and feel powerless to stop ;0) What it looks like: You talking quickly, rushed, sharing personal details, and people around you smiling tensely, and nodding slowly. In an interview, you feel like you have to share your personal history with "fill in the blank" in order for them to be confident in your abilities. How it loses you money: You don't actually get a chance to "connect" with the colleagues around you. Potential employers see you as someone with poor boundaries, a lack of confidence, and poor clinical skills. Again, this can lead to being passed over for job opportunities, losing recommendations, or not getting call backs in interviews. 

These are just a few of the mistakes I see interns making that are losing them money. I hope that you feel inspired to do some self-assessment today and make some changes. 

Action Item: Which of these top 5 look, feel, or sound like you? Do some honest assessment of how you might change this, and what the benefits can be to your future career! Until next time! 


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