There have been some very good points made recently about the disadvantages of unpaid internships. One of the most obvious is money. While I cannot argue against the importance of money, I can make a compelling argument for why unpaid internships should not be overlooked.
In my twenties and thirties I was busy raising kids. I did go to college during this time. Now in my 40’s I have been unemployed for an extended period of time. Since there did not seem to be an end to my job search, I started to give some thought about how I could apply my skill set, and do something else.
That is when I began looking at internships. When you are in your forties most traditional routes for internships are not an option. Most internships want college aged students who have a degree, or will graduate soon, with a degree plan in the area they are applying. Many internships require relocation, which was not an option for me. So my choices of internships were slim pickings, but they were out there.
I applied at, and was accepted for an unpaid internship with an online marketing company. My internship is online, and I work with a team who work from home writing for search engine optimization, or SEO. I have been assigned three clients, a Leave Your Legacy campaign, an ophthalmologist in New Jersey, and an apps development company. I am responsible for the research, outreach, and the writing of blog ‘guest posts’ that use keywords to link back to a client's website, or online content.
The following four items will point out some things you need to look for when choosing an unpaid, or paid internship. I chose topics based on my personal experience. There are also some suggestions on how to carve out an internship that is right for you.
You don't have a lot of options. Sometimes you may find there isn’t anything offered in the area you live, or maybe what is offered is not something you are interested in doing. Sometimes the internship requires relocation. Not everyone can relocate to take an internship. So what do you do when your choices are limited? Well, you can always ask if a company would be willing to provide you an internship. Just email them, or give them a call. I have usually started with the human resource department when doing this in the past.
If you approach someone and ask if they will provide you with an internship, come up with a list of goals you would like to reach while you are interning there. This will help you get an internship that meets your needs while making you look super capable. You will appear self motivated, and committed to having a successful internship. All positive things that will most likely lead you to getting an internship you will love.
When looking for an internship think outside the box. Many skills are universal. Knowing your goals, or what you want from an internship will help you be more flexible. Maybe with a little leg work and internet research, you can get those skills from an internship that does not exactly...