Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, the truth of the matter is that there is actually a PLETHORA (SAT word) of jobs out there. The problem is that most of the individuals applying for jobs are not equally matched with the employer’s needs. In other words, they either have a completely different skill set, no skills at all, or the wrong personality to fit in with the company culture.
As of recent, only 17% of college seniors have received job offers. More and more jobs are asking for more and more experience, bringing us to that age old issue; just how exactly do you expect me to get a job if even entry level jobs want experience? I’m glad you asked! There is a pretty solid way of increasing your chances (as soon to be or recent graduates) of landing a job.
I know what you’re thinking, I graduated college, why do I still need to intern and for next to nothing at that? Let me put it for you this way, if unpaid internships are the “slavery” of the job market, paid interns are somewhat of indentured servants, putting in their time and paying their dues for a bit to help secure freedom (a job) in the near future. Around 25% of individuals who recently completed an unpaid internship (within the past 3 months), landed full-time offers. These offers came mostly from the companies for which they interned, but also came from recommendations that their immediate supervisors gave them for positions at other companies, should their company not have any applicable open roles. This is while only 8% of recent unpaid interns landed job offers.
Why is that?
Paid interns are seen as more valuable and department heads are therefore more likely to pay attention to their work. If you are already being paid, they want to make sure they get their money’s worth and will take you more seriously as you will receive more serious workloads. On the other hand, recent regulations limit the types of work and amounts of work that unpaid interns may receive, thereby limiting the levels of contributions they can make to a company and causing other employees to seem them as more dispensable.
The good news is that (in NYC) the average paid intern makes between $15-$20/hr. This translates into around $30,000 to $40,000, which is not too shabby at all, considering it is usually a 3-6 month gig that can greatly increase the likelihood of permanent employment with a better salary. It can also put you on the fast track to promotion, as you will have those extra months of experience with the company over any other entry-level employee there.
A side added benefit of paid internships is the chance to give the company a “trial run” to see if you really even like it there. If not, you’re free to go after your few months of work and can try again elsewhere, helping you find the perfect fit for you. So to all my fellow recent graduates out there struggling to be gainfully employed, start setting your sites on those unpaid internships and in a few months, you may finally be exactly where you want.