Pros and Cons of Unpaid Internships

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There have been some very good points made recently about the disadvantages of unpaid internships. One of the most obvious is money. While I cannot argue against the importance of money, I can make a compelling argument for why unpaid internships should not be overlooked.

In my twenties and thirties I was busy raising kids. I did go to college during this time. Now in my 40’s I have been unemployed for an extended period of time. Since there did not seem to be an end to my job search, I started to give some thought about how I could apply my skill set, and do something else.

That is when I began looking at internships. When you are in your forties most traditional routes for internships are not an option. Most internships want college aged students who have a degree, or will graduate soon, with a degree plan in the area they are applying. Many internships require relocation, which was not an option for me. So my choices of internships were slim pickings, but they were out there.

I applied at, and was accepted for an unpaid internship with an online marketing company. My internship is online, and I work with a team who work from home writing for search engine optimization, or SEO. I have been assigned three clients, a Leave Your Legacy campaign, an ophthalmologist in New Jersey, and an apps development company. I am responsible for the research, outreach, and the writing of blog ‘guest posts’ that use keywords to link back to a client's website, or online content.

The following four items will point out some things you need to look for when choosing an unpaid, or paid internship. I chose topics based on my personal experience. There are also some suggestions on how to carve out an internship that is right for you.

You don't ha...

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...ted by idle gossip and chit chat. If I am distracted I retreat into my room.

Now for the cons. The cons are easy. Pretty much anything considered a pro can also serve as a con. Some days being self directed is easier than others. A break with family around can easily become an hour, or two. Doing the dishes can turn into cleaning the whole house. Being at home can also become monotonous. It can be too quiet, or to loud. Wearing your pajamas everyday sounds cool, but after awhile you just feel gross and in need of a shower.

If you choose an internship from home you will have to find ways to balance the demands of home and work. Your list of pros and cons may also look differently than mine. That is okay. Your list should be based on your unique needs. I wish you the best in making a decision, and getting the types of experiences you are looking for, paid or unpaid.

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