Internships can be hard work, especially in this day and age. I know what you’re thinking; an internship is hard work?
But think about it. These days, the majority of internships are unpaid and you’re essentially a glorified assistant. Fetching coffee, making copies, generally doing the work that no one else wants to do. If you’re lucky, you’ll have gotten an internship at a company that is outsourcing their entry-level jobs to interns. Then, at least, you’ll get to do some real work – but still with no pay.
That’s What It’s Come To
Companies are bombarded with intern requests by college seniors hoping to get a foot in the door. So the company gets free labor and the intern gets something to put on their resume or CV. But gone are the days where an internship leads to a job. Sure, the occasional company will hire on, full time, an intern they’ve worked with, but for the most part, the trend is to simply take on another intern to perform tasks – without having to pay an hourly wage or benefits, etc.
So if you’re looking for an internship, you’ve got it slightly easier than those looking for a job. And if you’re a recent graduate looking for a job, it’s a bit harder.
An Internship May Be Just The Ticket
But for those of you who are older and thinking of changing careers or starting again in a new industry, it’s even harder still. However, an internship may be just the ticket you need to further your skills. You probably won’t get paid, but if experience or training is all you’re looking for, an internship might just be perfect!
An older worker – even as an intern – can be very valuable to an organization because they can bring slightly more to the table than someone in college. They can offer real life experience, a more mature attitude without the “deer in headlights” air of someone in college, and potentially a more realistic set of business-related ideas.
And in return, the older worker working as an intern can gain valuable experience that will allow cross-over into other industries or will show potential employers the initiative you had to keep your skills strong while out of work.
Entry Level Jobs Being Cut –> Unpaid Internships –> More Entry Level Jobs Being Cut
There is a certain amount of cyclicality here, where entry level jobs are being cut in order to use unpaid interns to do the same work, which leads to students settling for internships. And the more students settle for internships, the more entry level jobs will be cut. While this isn’t ideal, it does make it a bit easier to gain experience – if you’re willing and able to go unpaid. But if you’re out of a job (and out of unemployment), it may make a lot of sense.
Based on Richard Moran’s Linkedin post entitled The Intern Invasion, we decided to ask our Gigats.com users if they had ever been an intern. Only 1433 of the 6093 users who responded said they had, while the other 85% said they had not. If an internship is an option that you’d like to pursue, it’s probably the best time ever to get an internship!