Breaking up is hard to do…

…especially when everything seems to be going so well. But, sometimes, circumstances are beyond your control. Like when your internship comes to an end, and you have to break up with your project.

This is not the first time I’ve had a six month internship/work contract; each time I’ve taken on short term contracts it’s been for a key project (or two, or three). And, invariably, I get attached to the work that I’m doing. It’s only natural when you spend so much time with it. So, then, it makes sense that it becomes difficult to walk away from that work when your contract is complete but the work is not. Given my vast experience, I thought I’d share a couple of tips that I’m planning to embrace this go ‘round.

  1. Enjoy your independence. You’ve most likely worked hard the past six months, so now is time for some fun! Breath, relax, enjoy those things you may have neglected at the expense of work (and, in this case, work in a far off country).
  2. Reflect. What went well? What didn’t? What experiences do you want to take forward to your next pursuit? Which ones will you happily never encounter again? It can’t all have been perfect; you don’t necessarily need to dwell on the negatives but figuring out what didn’t work for you helps with the job search and, fingers crossed, future jobs.
  3. Stay in touch!* Just because the internship is over doesn’t mean you never have to see your work again. Sure, it may live in another time zone on a far-off continent but that’s what modern technology is for. Or, if not specifically for, then well suited to. Regular communication might be excessive but dropping a line occasionally to see how things are going can be a really rewarding approach.
  4. Spend time with friends and family. At the end of the day, walking away from something you love (or even just like) is hard. But friends and family are there for you. And, in this case, probably can’t wait to see your shiny face again.

*If you didn’t get along well with your work, or if it was a toxic environment, don’t feel the need to stay in touch. Rather, live, learn and move on.

 

Sarah Spencer