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Dear readers and job-seekers, We've all had to reconsider our career paths. It's not easy to leave a familiar place, but there are ways to learn about a new path, or get needed help: Internships. These days age doesn't matter, in fact, mid-career folks are sought after as much as the twenty-somethings.
What's in it for me? - Not all internships are paid, and if they do, it's probably not a lot. What you get is new skills and real-life information about a new industry or field. Employers get support and strong candidates until more money starts flowing in the economy.
How long do they last? - The average time is three months, so be prepared to have some kind of support during that time. Support options: paying part-time work, live with relatives, trade, or barter.
Your age - Young interns have their eagerness; mid-career interns have their practical experience. What matters is your willingness to make it work. Think of it as a mutual assessment with the benefit of a strong addition to your resume. Need a resume? We have excellent resume templates. Need an internship? We have those too.
Do your homework - Not all internships are equal. Do your homework and learn about laws regarding internships, types of internships, and read some posts about internships that sucked.
How to find internships - Start with a search using search terms like: internships <city of choice>, international internships, high school internships, and so on. Ask a school about internships they support or inquire if a company has them. Attend networking events and ask about them.
In the meantime, figure out what you can realistically afford to do. First step: you can get your budget in order with some handy templates.
For me internships are of tremendous value, especially in this web 2.0 world because they let you create visible evidence of what you're doing. For instance I'm writing a diary of my internship at the CMI that I can then use to show future employers of the kind of things I've been doing. Hopefully that in addition to the skills and contacts I'll be making will be really useful.