Thursday, March 19, 2009

Free Work?

For those of you on the hunt for a new job or a career change (as I am trying to make), here is an interview with Leslie Stahl (of 60 Minutes) on yesterday's Brian Lehrer show on WNYC about becoming an intern later in life.

The comments are interesting, as well.

The question comes, when you are at a certain juncture in your life, can you do "free" work? I don't disagree with those college-aged interns who are posting that they feel they get little out of their internships besides getting "the right colored post-its and coffee". But I have to say that they are too young to full realize how a few well placed contacts in the industry of their choice can give them a leg up when it comes time to enter the job market for real. Maybe they don't love getting the boss their 10am Starbuck's fix every day, but they don't realize if they do it with a smile, on time and without complaint every day, as well as remembering to offer to help out when it's not necessarily "their job", that their boss/supervisor/whomever will remember them, will want to be their mentor and will probably not only be able, but very happy, to assist them in their future endeavors.

I'm not in the place where I am looking for an internship quite yet, though I do look at the FIT job board from time to time (the perks of being enrolled, even part time as a student) and if I saw one in the right field, I am not above applying for it.

If you are on the dole, with that employment check coming in, small as it may be, and all your actual job prospects seem very poor, why not spend a handful of hours a week in a work environment? Sure, maybe you could learn a thing or two but, and so much more importantly, you can network with the right people.

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