According to the LA Times, unpaid internships are on the rise with employers taking advantage of the bad economy to bring in desperate workers with no mission to compensate them.
I’ve got beef with this issue.
I am always job searching, even when I do have a job, I’m still out there looking for something better. I’ve been on the job hunt for a career since high school so yea, years of active persistence and disappointments and even successes.
deciding to become a full-time freelancer was more than anything a realization that there was nothing out here in this country that would truly make me happy. the concept of getting a “real job” was no longer an option, because I was finding shittier opportunities at “normal” 9-5 companies that basically exploited you and your talents for their own gain. I’ve worked at some shitty places where there is no value in your work, people don’t respect your work style, and you never get paid on time IF you even do get paid.
and this is still a problem today. I peruse through Craigslist once a week because that’s all I can take. it’s utterly depressing to look at the postings on there. ESPECIALLY in the social media world, more and more companies are targeting young people with Twitter and Facebook profiles to do their grunt work without showing them a dime. they incorporate roles of marketing and biz development, community mgmt, admin tasks, and bitch work into a “social media ninja” that appeal to us hungry post-grads. it’s sad because this isn’t a joke to me. this job I do is real and it means something to me, so to see employers posting these offensive job listings makes me angry. and blaming the economy doesn’t help.
that’s why I choose to follow entrepreneurs instead and small organizations that are saying “fuck the economy, we’re going to create our own jobs.” these are the people who are innovative and seeing the value in so many young people’s talents and doing something good about it.
so, to my followers who are in struggling with me to find a good job: don’t fall into this “oh we can’t pay you but we promise you exposure” bullshit. find a better way out, because working for yourself and creating something that makes you happy will give you greater exposure. hang in there, it’ll get better.
excerpts from this article I found interesting:
Minimum wage laws prohibit employers from hiring employees for less than a certain hourly rate. Unpaid interns are exempt from these rules, but the Labor Department makes clear that the unpaid worker must get something for his or her time.
"Companies are trying to take advantage of a situation where they need to get work done but they can’t afford it because their budgets aren’t what they used to be," said Richard Bottner, president of Intern Bridge, a nonprofit that does research on internships.
"If you absolutely can’t find a job, and you’re better off working for free, that’s a real statement about the dire situation in the labor market here in California," she said.