In today’s economy more and more you hear about unpaid internships: jobs that offer experience and hands on learning, but no monetary reward. Now the idea of the unpaid internship may sound ridiculous, I mean who wants a job where a person goes in and works for hours for free? How does that benefit anyone? But that is not the case; unpaid internships are in reality the way of the future. It is through unpaid internships that modern day economy will grow and return to a flourishing state.
Recently hundreds to thousands of people were laid off. Companies had to make major budget cuts, which eliminated positions, cut down the work force needed and destroyed the idea of the paid intern. If companies could not pay their employees and had to layoff dedicated full time laborers there was simply no way that they could continue to pay their interns. The reason why unpaid internships are so prominent now is because many positions and jobs that were once paid have become unpaid internships. Many jobs that were eliminated were in reality highly necessary to the various companies, however they were not vital, which caused them to be eliminated and turned into unpaid internships.
People assume that the company does not value the work done by someone who is unpaid. They assume that they will be forced to get coffee or change toilet paper rolls, never moving forward and never advancing. Due to this perception – the idea that unpaid interns receive only busy work or coffee orders – many people believe that unpaid internships are a waste of time. My friends and family are no different. They believe that the work that is done is not adequately valued by their employers, and most of the time they grow frustrated by putting in hours of work without getting any monetary pay off.
Currently my friends are applying to internships, to jobs and to various other working positions, and time and time again I watch them scoff at unpaid roles and ignore opportunities just because they are unpaid. My family is the same way; they hate the idea of me working for nothing but the benefit of experience and the possibility of a good recommendation letter. My friends and family both want the same thing: entry level jobs with pay, but at this current time that is simply not going to happen. We all have to face the facts unpaid internships are the way to open up doors to future jobs.
Today’s job market is more competitive than ever, so there is no point in ignoring what is readily available in favor of positions that we are ill qualified for. The majority of unpaid internships today are positions that bring work experience that will eventually aid in getting a paying steady job. In order to survive in our highly competitive job market, people need to gain as much experience as possible, whether it is paid or unpaid. Experience is the most valuable thing.
Unpaid work is not unvalued work or unappreciated work. The work that is done is vital for the company and is educational for a person’s future career. The unfortunate thing is that these essential positions are unable to be paid in our current economy. Overall, don’t scoff at the unpaid internship, or believe that your work is not being valued; your work is most likely essential and the experience you will gain and connections that you will make are more valuable than you think.