After the Internship: Four Ways To Put Your Old Boss to Work for YOU

Getting Started at Lincoln Center

A few years ago, while I was in the thick of building the Film Society of Lincoln Center‘s very first properties on the web and on social networks, I lucked into a most extraordinary intern. Curtis was proactive and multi-talented, quick on the uptake and able to dispatch the thousand miscellaneous tasks that are a part of the creative digital life with aplomb.

Curtis never blanched at any of the quixotic projects I was architecting  — including building the first co-branded web destination for New Directors/New Films with practically no budget and almost no resources — and in fact took my open-ended directives solve problems and returned with creative solutions.

He was, in short, the pinnacle of what New York Creative Interns aspire to.

When the internship ended, of course I was gutted. I mean, who was going to help me throw together some crazy social media campaign? But it wasn’t until I met Curtis for lunch a year or so later that I realized the tables had turned. I was working for Curtis now, helping him to frame his career path, and most importantly, find a good job.

Unfortunately, I think too few stellar interns make this same realization about their former supervisor. They are a little bit shy. Maybe they don’t want to seem like pests.

You can be persistent without being annoying. You are a stellar intern after all. And that former supervisor you impressed could turn out to be your secret weapon in the hunt for an amazing job.

How to Put Your Former Boss to Work for You

NY Creative Interns Put Your Former Boss to Work

Image Courtesy of Thinkstock

We can fit into multiple roles such as:

Your new marketing and PR agency

Getting that resume (and possibly personal website) into ship shape can be tough work — especially because it’s 1. hard to be objective about your strengths, and 2. exhausting to have to constantly pitch yourself. We’re here to help you position yourself for maximum hits. Ask us for honest criticism on punching up your personal presentation. We may actually be able to supply a few action verbs you haven’t thought of.

Your new “career concierge” 

Have you made a list of dream companies and dream gigs yet? You should, and get that to your former supervisor stat. Not only can we keep our eyes peeled for you, we might be the best conduit to the “hidden job market” you can find.

Making sure to seed little details and reminders of what you’re targeting means that we’re more likely to think of you when we’re in some far-flung business meeting and someone mentions a need for a bright young thing who speaks Spanish and plays the ukelele.

So, if it’s our job to ferret out the hidden opportunities for our beloved interns, it’s your job to keep yourself on our radars.

Your life coach

So what if you don’t have a target list of jobs and companies just yet? That’s OK. There’s no one better than a seasoned professional to help you take a nebulous cloud of strengths and goals and hone them into a more manageable action list. Don’t be shy about setting up a lunch just to talk about your successes and struggles on the job search. While we may not be able to solve all of your problems over a Shackburger, we can certainly help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming task of figuring out “what should I do with my life?”  Seriously, this is in our job description. I checked.

Your stunt double

No, we won’t actually jump out of a plane for you. But we can help you avoid the dumb career mistakes we made. If you feel like you are about to make a risky move, check it out with us first — we’ll be honest. And of course, skip the main mistake many of us made…not putting our former supervisors to work.

Have you tried putting an old boss to work in your career search? What were the results?

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