When it comes to finding a job, many young people in South Africa think that the only way to get ahead is to do an unpaid internship. They believe that this will give them an edge on the competition and help them land their dream job.
However, there are many things to consider before making this decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of doing an unpaid internship, and help you decide if it is the right option for you!
What to expect during an Internship?
As an intern, you will be expected to work just as hard as any other employee. This means that you will be given tasks and assignments that are important to the company, and you will be held accountable for your work. However, because you are not being paid for your time, you may find that you are given more menial tasks than full-time employees.
For example, you may be asked to make coffee or do data entry. While these tasks are important to the running of the company, they may not be in line with your career goals. This is why you should try to make sure you choose an internship with a company or at least within an industry in which you are interested in working and creating a career. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you are able to find this out during your internship experience, so there is always some value to be had!
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Unpaid Internship
There are many advantages to doing an unpaid internship. One of the most obvious is that you will gain valuable work experience. This can be extremely beneficial, especially if you are looking to enter a competitive field. Additionally, internships can provide you with important connections and references for future jobs.
However, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Perhaps the most significant is that you will not be paid for your time and effort. This can be a major financial burden, especially if you are already struggling to make ends meet. Additionally, unpaid internships often require long hours and intense work schedules, which can be very challenging to maintain over an extended period of time.
How to find an internship?
It can sometimes be difficult to find an internship that is right for you. A great way to start is by reaching out to your network of friends and family. Ask if they know of any companies or organisations that are looking for interns. Additionally, you can search online job boards or career websites. Finally, don’t forget to check with your school or college as they may have information about internships in your area.
So, should you do an unpaid internship? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. There are pros and cons to consider, and it is important to weigh all of your options before making a decision. If you do decide to go ahead with an unpaid internship, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable company that will provide you with the best possible experience. Good luck!