Free internships can only take you so far – and they’re generally only open to the lucky few who can afford what is, in essence, an unpaid job. Just imagine the opportunities missed by those who can’t afford to travel to London and slave away for six months with no pay. But until reforms for internships enter the country you live in, those who can’t afford them have to put up, shut up and find another option.
With that in mind, we’ve racked our brains to think of a few ways you can crowbar your way into the ideal career – WITHOUT having to work for free.
1. Get online – get qualified:
Only a decade ago, the snail’s pace of your internet connection meant that tackling anything of importance was about as likely as flying a magical horse to the moon. You could grow a full beard in the time it would take to download an image – so what chances did distance learning have?
Now, however, distance learning on the web has become just as efficient as a brick-and-mortar university. Indeed, online libraries, virtual learning environments, Skype and myriad other facilities have made obtaining an online degree a cinch – all you need is the right level of application.
Moreover, various government funding programmes have been initiated to support vocational courses. Distance learning is an express lane to a number of high salary careers – so give it a go.
2. Know your networks:
Sometimes gaining a job isn’t about your qualifications. When you wander into an interview, it’s about talking the talk more than walking the walk, but if you’re struggling to get your foot in the door, then a heavy dose of networking could be the antidote.
First, set up a profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest business social networking site, and make it look spiffy. From there, you’ll be able to make connections with bosses and peers alike – and you could even find out about jobs long before anyone else.
If you’re more of face-to-face mover and shaker, then fetch your suit from the back of the wardrobe and head to a networking event in your local area. With the right business charm you could find yourself wooing your way into the perfect position.
3. Rustle up a folio:
Especially in creative industries, folios are the lifeblood of the hiring market. They remove any element of pointless chatter. The work speaks for itself –if yours is any good, it’ll speak volumes.
Your best work acts as proof you’ve got the mettle for your position, so be discerning. Find a friend who’ll talk frankly about your pieces, and scrap the worst. As many an artist has said, you have to kill you darlings.
The perfect folio could help you find a boss who won’t want to let you go – and they’ll be sure to pay you handsomely.
You should also check out:
Learn to Code for FREE | Top 10 Online Courses for Aspiring Programmers!
Paul Baltescu on his internship experience at Twitter, Google and Facebook.
“Microsoft is definitely a ‘do more’ company and the energy slowly catches upto you.” – Chirag Takker, Intern, Microsoft SMSG.