Learning to Deal with Co-Workers


My current internship puts me in a unique position. I’ve been here long enough to build up some credibility and authority in my specific field, but I’m still an intern. This position, this expert-and-intern conundrum, creates some awkward situations with co-workers.

I don’t blame them in the least. It’s probably tricky for an adult who has a degree and has been a professional for years to be instructed by a college kid. I ran into one such problem with a co-worker here, and it’s still being slowly hashed out. In fact, we’ll probably still be smoothing out wrinkles when I return over spring break or summer vacation.

This is a valuable lesson. For my entire career, I’ll be facing co-workers, employers, superiors, and equals, who may or may not want to hear my opinions. They may not appreciate my feedback. Regardless of how smoothly we’ll work together, we’ll have to continue to do just that: work together. This specific co-worker and I have a very good relationship when we don’t work together on specific projects without being overseen by our supervisor. We both know that we can get along well. There’s just a gap that we have to continue to work on.

I’m happy with how things are going on that front, altogether. I’ve gained important experience on how to handle a difficult co-worker, and we reached the end of a fairly big project in record time. The outcome is great, the product is awesome, and our supervisor is satisfied.

Mission accomplished, and lessons learned. I’d say that a good outcome all around.

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