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Do I need to be friendly in an internship position?

(14 Posts)
CoolToned Tue 09-Aug-16 21:15:40

With the staff/employees?

I am a career changer and in my previous industry and country, hierarchy is very prevalent - you don't really become "friends" with your senior.

Somehow I think that thinking is still ingrained in me. But of course, things are different in the western world.

I am polite and nice. I do my job well. I get along with other interns. But I am not friends with any of the employees.

toffeeboffin Tue 09-Aug-16 21:17:36

Try and make friends with people who you work closely with, your peers.

Don't try and be friends with your senior, just be polite and respectful.

flibbidygibbet Tue 09-Aug-16 21:17:57

Yes being friendly is almost always important

CoolToned Tue 09-Aug-16 21:23:34

Yes, I'm friends with the other interns. With the seniors, I am polite and respectful but there's still distance. There's a group of guys I'd most probably be friends with if I met them in another situation (I knew from observing them) but I'm not "friends" with them.

EastMidsMummy Tue 09-Aug-16 21:26:17

Being friendly is not the same as being friends. You should be friendly.

PeachBellini123 Tue 09-Aug-16 21:31:55

I think being friendly is always good but yes there tends to be a bit more distance with seniors. You don't want to come across as standoffish though. I think mirroring how the seniors speak to you may help know what kind of tone to take.

missymayhemsmum Tue 09-Aug-16 21:32:10

In most workplaces I think a friendly smile, hello, knowing names, asking people whether they had a nice weekend, polite small talk etc helps life along at all levels. Lots of workplaces have an informal culture and are less hierarchical, some aren't. Don't expect to hear too many details of your line manager's personal life, but it's fine to be friendly with people who have been there longer than you. Try asking their advice about work/ where to go out in the local area/ how they got into their current role, etc. Most people like to talk about themselves to an admiring listener, after all

minipie Tue 09-Aug-16 21:32:19

Friendly yes - smile, say hello, passing comment on weather

Friends no - don't ask what they are up to at the weekend (let them start that kind of conversation with you, if they want)

Trills Tue 09-Aug-16 21:35:24

It might help if you are more specific about what you want, and also what kind of behaviours you are classing as "friendly".

Are you asking whether you need to be friendly because you feel that people have tried to be more friendly than you want to be?

CoolToned Tue 09-Aug-16 21:41:43

No, I meant like "going to lunch hanging out during breaks" friendly.

Most of these people are around my age.

EastMidsMummy Tue 09-Aug-16 21:43:41

I would absolutely consider asking my seniors at work if they were doing something nice at the weekend as being friendly and perfectly appropriate. I would consider joining them on the nice thing they were doing as being friends.

myownprivateidaho Tue 09-Aug-16 21:48:48

I get what you're asking OP. I've been in the position of being the inferior to people who are my age and who I'd hang out with no problems in other contexts. Unfortunately the answer is that if they haven't made friendly overtures towards you, then there is probably a culture of interns and employees not being friends. It's weird when you'd be fine with hanging out with them out of work, but I think that's the way it is.

minipie Tue 09-Aug-16 21:53:28

I don't think the trainees at my office generally go for lunch with the summer interns despite being a similar age.

It's not so much about seniority however, it's more that the interns will be there a few weeks and then gone, the trainees already know each other and will be there long after the interns have gone.

topcat2014 Tue 09-Aug-16 21:56:06

I suppose you can say I am a 'senior'.

I am friendly with my staff:
I know their partner's / children's names, big family events such as weddings etc. I ask about weekend plans, and remember to discuss them on Mondays. I do this because I genuinely do care, rather than some kind of management by numbers.

I tend not to connect with my staff on Facebook, as I consider that part of their private lives.

Treat others as you wish to be treated is my motto.

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