The Secret To Landing The Job You're Already Doing

Photographed by Maria Del Rio.
Dedication and commitment are the keys to moving from intern to employee. When you've got your foot in the door, take advantage of the opportunity!

It took blood, sweat, and tears, but you landed the internship of a lifetime. It's more than a learning experience, it's the next door to enter as you begin your career.

Keep in mind that landing an internship is easier than landing a job. People are granting you an opportunity to learn, rather than paying you for your services. There’s less pressure, more leeway, and an overall interest in helping you.

The secret to transitioning from intern to employee is your dedication to the goal of full-time employment.

Here’s what that dedication looks like — and how to leverage it throughout your internship.

Related: The Feminine Woman's Guide To Office Confidence

Building Your Network
From the moment you walk into the office until the moment you leave, take advantage of meeting every person at the office. Companies may not support you financially while you're interning, but they’re offering you access to their community in exchange.

Start by getting to know each and every person in your department. It’s not enough to be friendly with your supervisor; you want to recruit a cheering section when you’re gunning for the full-time job.

Ask each person if they’d be willing to join you for lunch, sit down for an informational interview, or grab a cup of coffee. Who knows — maybe you’ll make a couple of friends! Bonus points: Ask them to connect you with a friend of theirs within the company, possibly someone in a different department, to make even more connections.

At my first internship — and now full-time job — my supervisor kept his eye on the job board for me. My office neighbors would come up to me with rumors of possible openings. Referrals were submitted, networks contacted, and sure enough, I had four internal interviews before my last day as an intern.

By this time, I had become a familiar face throughout the company. As I moved through the interview process, those familiar faces sat across from me, evaluating my candidacy.

Vocalize Your Goals
When I was an intern, I told anyone who would listen, “I am not leaving!” When I was asked what I wanted to do toward the end of my internship — where I saw myself working, what the summer had in store — my answer remained the same. I was so sure of my future at the company and it made others sure of it, too.

It takes confidence to tell people what you really want, but no one will fault you for having a goal in mind and fervently pursuing it. I like to call it “passionate persistence.” It can be misconstrued as bothersome, but complacency will get you nowhere. If they’ve trained you, they're likely going to want to keep you. Make sure they know you want to stay.

Related: How to Follow Your Gut — And Why You Always Should

Act As If You've Got The Job
In my mind, it was merely salary and a title that separated me from the full-time employees at my company. As a senior in college, a seasoned intern, and token New Yorker, I felt well-equipped for most opportunities. If I could convince myself of this much, maybe I could convince the rest?

Strategically plan out your outfit every morning. Make sure you’re sleeping enough...never walk into the office less than on point and totally prepared for the day. That dedication will speak volumes about you and your potential for full-time employment.

Like a full-time employee, you should be working diligently, as if your job depended on it — because it does!

Interns are often given long-term projects — make sure you’re completing them quickly and accurately. The more work you’re able to produce, the more confidence the team will have in your capabilities. If they’re going up to bat for you, give them something to brag about!

No one said it would be easy, but nothing easy is ever worth doing. That couldn’t be truer in the transitional period from intern to employee. Remember, you’re already in the door. They saw potential in you, now rise to the occasion and land the job!

Related: How to Maximize Your Internship

More from Work & Money