Common Challenges

You Don’t Have Enough Work orYou Have Too Much!

  • Read organizational literature
  • Go through files to acquaint yourself with system, clients, etc.
  • Volunteer for menial chores
  • Use your powers of observation - learn how your boss works, what makes things run smoothly (or what causes problems), how decisions are made
  • Communicate with your boss - ask him or her to help you establish priorities
  • Check how many sources are feeding work to you and have them funnel everything through your main supervisor

You Feel Like All You Are Is A "Gofer"

  • This is part of any job - expect these types of tasks and use them to prove yourself
  • Helping to establish a sense of trust by doing menial tasks well will usually give way to greater responsibility

Credibility Problems & Resentment From Co-Workers

  • The greatest risk for this is in new or unstructured programs
  • Uncooperative co-workers usually don’t understand your role; therefore, it’s important that you let them know who you are and what you are doing (although, your supervisor should do this)
  • Co-workers may resent your flexibility and time and attention from the boss

Pressure & Overtime

  • Learn to use good time management, including the setting of priorities
  • Remember you are still a student: pitch in when urgent, but avoid the rut of excessive overtime


  • You still have a big adjustment to make from the classroom to the work-site, because the same amount of feedback may not be out there
  • The feedback may be less structured; not written out


  • You will probably encounter situations that contradict what you have learned in class
  • You will probably run into behavior that violates common sense