7 warning signs that tell you it’s time to leave your internship

Illustration — Dyuthi Prakash

As interns, we have this wonderful opportunity to be flexible with our internships, unlike employees who are tethered to their jobs for years on end, and can’t do much about it. Most of us think that interns are only meant to fetch coffee or stock the pantry, thanks to American stereotypes, but that should be your first red light when you start as an intern.

Here are a few warning signs that tell you to drop everything and just leave your internship:

  1. You’ve been sitting idle for more than two weeks. They promise to give you work but don’t follow up on it. Your first sign to start applying for other internships.
  2. You’ve been fetching coffee and doughnuts for the first two weeks and you think this happens to every intern. It does not.
  3. You haven’t learnt anything new since you left university, except the names of your new colleagues.
  4. Your superiors look down on you and make sure you feel sidelined. On your first day, you don’t get as much as a hello. The intern is as much an equal as the next employee. You deserve a hello and a goodbye.
  5. You’ve been working for more than two months, and they still haven’t paid you. As much as I wouldn’t like to admit this, no pay is a deal-breaker. We’re young, and we’re still in university; we deserve to be paid.
  6. You don’t get invited. When your firm holds a Christmas party and you don’t get invited just because you’re an intern. This is a no-no. Just scram.
  7. You don’t have any specific timings. They tell you to come and go as you please, like a ghost. This probably means that they dont take you seriously. Why would you want to waste your time in a place like that?

These are just a few of the signs that tell you that its time to leave your workplace. But if you’re feeling miserable and don’t think you’re learning anything new, just take off. Our academic lives are too short to be spent wondering whether we’ll be useful enough at a company.


Hey guys! After the success of Internity, I’ve decided to add a new section where I’ll feature interns across all fields of work! I would love to feature you, just give me a shoutout at my email dyuthiprakash@gmail.com.

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