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How to Cope with an Absent Boss - Intern Wardrobe

How to Cope with an Absent Boss
Claire Flynn
  • On January 29, 2015

It’s the first day of your new internship.

You’ve swotted up on every detail of the company, put on your smartest outfit and, the night before, you even went to bed before Gogglebox finished. All because you want to impress your new boss in the hope of a future job offer or, at the very least, a fabulous reference.

But when you arrive your boss is out – they might be at meetings all day, off ill or working at home. They’ve left some tasks for you to get on with. You swallow the disappointment, and the rising realisation that you could’ve just stayed up late after all, and proceed with your work. A few days in, you’ve barely even seen this ‘boss’. It seems this internship isn’t quite what you had in mind…

Sometimes the person you want to impress with your excellent skills and work ethic might not be around much. But don’t lose hope, this guide will help you to make a lasting impression, despite their absence:


Do not slack off


When your boss isn’t about, it’s very tempting to do the bare minimum (or less) of your work, and sit around sending embarrassing selfies via Snapchat instead. But if you are, it’s going to be pretty obvious, and you will quickly be forced to say goodbye to potential job offers and references.


Make sure you know what you’re doing 


If you don’t understand one of the tasks you’ve been left, or you get stuck, just send an email to ask for some help. It’s better than you sitting sweating, trying to struggle through.


Send regular updates


If your boss isn’t around to witness all the excellent work you’re doing, then tell them yourself. Send daily emails detailing the work you’ve completed that day, and how you coped with it. This will help them to see your strengths, and assign you work accordingly.


Ask for feedback 


Don’t wait around for them to tell you what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing so well. Email them every so often to ask if you are performing all your work to their expected standard. Trust me, finding out at the end of your internship that they haven’t been happy with parts of your work is a bit of a bummer.


Don’t be afraid to give them feedback



If you have been disappointed with the amount of time your boss has spent with you, you should let them know. After all, companies are often looking to learn from us, just as we are looking to learn from them. It might encourage them to spend more time with their interns in the future, or at least ensure they emphasise this aspect of the job to future internship applicants.

In the digital age, people are often able to perform their work tasks away from the office. If your next boss is someone who chooses to do this, you now know how to make the most of your internship anyway.

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