Q. I’m half way through a four month internship at a major PR agency. There’s a possibility they could hire me once the internship is complete, but there’s a possibility they might not. What should I do? Should I start looking for jobs now or wait until I find out whether or not they’ll hire me?
A. The half-way point of your internship is the appropriate time to re-start your job search. Unfortunately, hiring decisions are usually delayed until the last minute of an intern stint due to frequently changing client-driven workloads. If you’re getting positive signals from your supervisors, try to get an honest guestimate about your chances for continued employment. They’ll generally level with you, but they also won’t know for sure until the financial number crunching supports addition of a new full-time employee.
Don’t assume your employer knows you want to stay. Many interns assume everyone knows they want to continue working for the firm, but never express their desire to do so. Besides full-time positions, inquire about part-time or hourly positions.
A majority of internships are three months in duration, which can be extended by another three months. (U.S. law requires employers to limit non full-time employment, such as internships, to six months). Fortunately, the internship-to-full-time employment ratio has seen a significant increase this year, although the odds are still 50-50. I suggest that you quietly start your job search at the mid-way point of your internship, then ramp it up each week that follows. Good luck.