In a recent film, The Intern, released September 25th, 2015, Robert DeNiro plays a 70-year-old widower looking to get back in the game as a senior intern under a boss that’s young enough to be his daughter. For this dramedy, DeNiro has no intentions of finding his dream job; he just needs something to do.
For many of us the thought of being an intern is not only embarrassing, but it’s not feasible. “An intern? I have kids, student loans, and a MORTGAGE! I can’t work for free!” I hear you! However, this concept works for those with a job and without.
For the unemployed moving from management to intern can humble the ego and put a kink in the bank account, but it could be a vital step in gaining dream job experience, industry contacts, or finding a mentor, all with a commitment of as little as five hours a week.
In addition, adding new responsibilities to your résumé from an adult internship can make you a more attractive job candidate. Have a day job just to pay the bills? Look at the many companies that offer virtual internships.
I’m going to make a bold statement. There’s a virtual internship for every profession! According to a 2013 article published by The New York Times, out of the over 8,000 internships posted on internships.com, 20% are virtual. And that was in 2013! Since then companies have increasingly relied on virtual interns to increase their visibility on social media, marketing efforts, and promote their events.
Before you think this article doesn’t apply to your industry, consider creating your own virtual internship through guest blogging. There are two kinds of bloggers.
There’s the industry expert or “insider” sharing all of the unknown tips and tricks, and there’s the blogger who is new just like their readers sharing what they learn as they learn it. Which one are you? Here are some easy steps to get you started.
Tip #1 – Visit the virtual internship section of internship.com here or regular job sites like Indeed or Craig’s List. Between them there are hundreds of in-person or virtual internships to choose from, and can narrow them down with a simple industry search.
Tip #2 – If at a job interview and the potential employer seems hesitate about offering you a job because of the gap in your resume, then ask for a temporary internship to give them the opportunity of showcasing your skills.
Tip #3 – Companies you are interested in working for even if they don’t publicly offer internships, ask them if they would create an internship. This way if you get an internship with the company, you can show off your skills and may be offered a permanent paying position with the company.
Tip #4 – Update your résumé. Even though you are working for free, employers still want to see you are a benefit to their business. A polished résumé will show that you can be taken seriously and ready to work.
Internships are not hard to find, and anyone can look and ask for one. You have nothing to lose, and during the process you might get paid or even land your dream job! How bad do you want it?