INTERNSHIPS / JUN. 17, 2015
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5 Reasons Why Unpaid Internships Are Totally Worth it

If you’re a college student or a recent graduate, you might be eager to find a nice paying job so you can move out of your parents’ house and start your adult life. Unfortunately, you may quickly discover that entry-level jobs are hard to come by. It can take six months or longer to find the right job. Rather than spend your days not working, this is the perfect opportunity to look into unpaid internships.

At first, you might hate the idea of an unpaid internship since you’re not compensated for your hard work. However, instead of looking down on these opportunities, think of unpaid internships as a stepping stone to a long-term position in the future.

Here are 5 reasons why an unpaid internship is totally worth it.

See Also: Ever Wondered What It’s Like Being a Google Intern

1. Enhance Your Resume

You’ll need to have as much relevant work experience as possible when applying for a job.

If you’re applying for a job in a field you’ve never worked in, it might be hard to get your foot in the door. The employer may see that other applicants have relevant experience, and choose one of these candidates over you. An internship — even if it’s unpaid — in your field of study can enhance your resume, making you a more qualified applicant for the position. 

2. Gain Real Work Experience

Not only can an unpaid internship enhance your resume, it can provide you with real work experience. If you didn’t work in high school or college, this means you’re graduating college with zero work experience.

You might have a degree and a high grade point average. But without any type of work experience, some employers may feel you’re not ready for a fast-paced, demanding job. Although an internship might be unpaid, it counts as real work experience. By gaining this experience, employers will be more confident in your ability to follow instructions, meet deadlines and work as part of a team.

3. You Can Decide Whether a Job is a Right Fit

Depending on your type of degree, you might be qualified to seek employment in different fields. For example, someone with a business degree can pursue a job in marketing, sales, finance, etc. An unpaid internship provides an idea of what you can expect in certain occupations, and you can decide whether a particular job is the right match for you. Let’s say you get an internship in marketing. You might decide marketing isn’t the right job for you. Therefore, you don’t have to waste time applying for jobs in this area.

4. Builds Confidence

After graduating college, you might be eager to enter the workforce and start supporting yourself. But at the same time, you might lack confidence in the field. Getting an unpaid internship for a few weeks or months is one of the best ways to get your feet wet. You can learn the ins and outs of a particular job, receive feedback from your supervisor and become a better employee. Once your internship ends, you’ll have more confidence in your skills and be ready to find a job in this field.

5. An Unpaid Internship Might Turn Into a Job

This doesn’t always happen, but some unpaid internships turn into full-time jobs. Some companies that have interns are also looking to fill open positions. If you do an amazing job and go the extra mile, you might be offered a position at the end of your internship.

Even if the company isn’t hiring permanent employees at present, you might leave a lasting impression and receive a call and offer when a position becomes available.

See Also: Benefits of Hiring an Intern

Before you say an unpaid internship isn’t worth it, think about the experience you’ll receive and the potential benefits. It’s a wonderful opportunity to gain relevant work experience, build your confidence, plus it might lead to a job.

Have you ever been an unpaid intern? What was your experience?

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