Everybody wants to get paid for their time at work. So if you’re offered an unpaid internship, you might turn it down and look for a paying opportunity. At the end of the day, you have to decide whether an unpaid internship is right for you. But although these internships don't offer monetary compensation, they can be rewarding. Here are seven reasons why unpaid internships can be worth it.
1. Gives You Work Experience
If you don't have a lot of work experience, and unpaid internship can provide the extra experience you need to land a full-time paying job in the future. When you apply for jobs out of college, employers will look at your resume to gauge your work experience. If you don't have any, employers might choose another applicant.
2. Builds Confidence in the Workplace
Not only can you gain work experience from an unpaid internship, it can build your confidence in the workplace. You can learn the ins and outs of a particular position. When you apply for full-time work in the future, you can confidently explain to the employer why you're the best person for the job, and you're less likely to feel inadequate once you get a job offer.
3. Receive Feedback and Grow as an Employee
One of the best things about an unpaid internship is the opportunity to get feedback from those you work under. Feedback is crucial to growing as an employee. You can learn your weaknesses and your strengths, and you can improve your work ethic. An unpaid internship helps you become a better worker, which makes you a valuable asset to an employer in the future.
4. Gives You Something to do
If it’s summer break and you have nothing to do – and you can't find a job – contact local companies in your hometown and ask about possible internship opportunities. Even if a company isn’t actively looking for an intern, it might be willing to bring you on board if there’s a large workload. You can offer assistance a few hours a week based on the need.
5. You Can Feel out Different Jobs
Unpaid internships also offer an opportunity to feel out different jobs related to your degree. I have experience with this firsthand. I studied computers and English in college. After a three-month computer programming internship I realized this particular field wasn't for me, at which time I put all my focus into my journalism degree.
6. It Can Lead to a Job Offer
This doesn't always happen, but after an internship some employers hire the best interns as full-time employees. So if you're having difficulty getting paying work, spend a few months as an intern and prove yourself to employers. A job might be waiting for you after the internship ends.
7. You Can Build a Network
Even if the employer doesn't offer you a full-time job, and unpaid internship can build your contacts and professional network. And you never know, you might cross paths with the employer in the future. If you give 100% and go the extra mile, the employer might contact you in the future.
You don't earn money with an unpaid internship, but you can receive work experience and confidence to become a better employee. Do you think unpaid internships are worth it, and why?