What goes through your head if you’re offered an unpaid internship? It can be tempting to just neglect this opportunity because you refuse to work for free, but it’s worth thinking very carefully about it first. Fair or not, this internship can help you gain more work experience, connections and hopefully lead to your first job.
Some people feel very strongly that everyone deserves to be financially compensated for their work. On the other hand, some feel unpaid internships are a great opportunity to gain experience at the company of your dreams. Paid or not, internships are a great way to learn skills and gain valuable work experience.
Here are 3 reasons why an (unpaid) internship pays off in the long term
#1 – Experience will prepare you for your future career
One of the first things, you will gain as a paid or unpaid intern, is the invaluable experience. It might not be your dream job at first, but getting an internship will allow you to get a good feel for what will be expected of you after college graduation. The experience you will gain through an unpaid internship will better prepare you for your future career and will look great on your CV.
#2- Networking experience
An internship gives you a whole group of people who work in a similar environment where you would like to work in the future. Turn to them for advice on getting a job as well as being able to act as your references for future work. Many companies prefer to hire previous interns when looking to fill entry level positions.
Whether you are looking to continue working for that company or you are looking to work for another company upon graduation, the fact that you were willing to work simply for the experience shows you are serious about working in that field.
Doing an internship is worth a lot to get your foot in the door at the company of your dreams. Show them your amazing skills, which they would’ve never seen based on your CV and it can eventually lead to your first job. Even if they don’t have a junior position available at that time. Make sure you get your references and it will help you to find a better job.
Not getting paid for the work you are doing is never preferable, but keep your eye on the big picture because that unpaid internship could pay off big in the future! Don’t get me wrong when I talk about the benefits of unpaid internships. As most people, I do advocate for finding paid internships whenever possible. What do you girls think? Have you ever done an unpaid internship? Has it helped you in your career or do you think it’s not fair? Let us know in the comments below.
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