I’ve seen a couple people respond negatively to the fact that The Book of Jezebel is offering an unpaid internship to two applicants who can live and work anywhere and I’m floored. I’m shocked. What is wrong with people?
Do you know how average it is to have a college education these days? Do you know how average it is to have worked on your school’s literary journal and have a stack of writing samples? It’s way, way average.
When I say, “There’s no such thing as an unpaid internship,” I mean that you will be paid back over and over and over again for your hard work if you choose the right place that’s offering the right experience. I did a couple internships while I was in college, and I was so good at one of them that I was offered a job before I graduated that I later turned down because I knew it wouldn’t make me happy. However, to this day, the skills that I learned while busting my ass on a real, professional level are some of the most valuable ones I posses.
Make sure the internship is legal. Make sure you’re getting class credit or that other interns have moved up within the company/have landed jobs after the experience. I’m not saying you should go get stripped of your dignity and left cold and naked on some sidewalk. I’m saying that real ballers create their own destinies by seizing opportunities.
Can’t afford to do an unpaid internship? Maybe you need to do an unpaid internship so you can get a better paying job. Suffer for a minute. That’s how this world works. Sorry, kids. I think my life fucking sucks sometimes because I’m so worn down from simultaneously being my own pimp and my own whore, but I still understand that that’s how it works if you want to be great.
There are probably already a slew of applicants for these positions, as there should be. If you’re one of the folks with a shitty fucking attitude about doing “free work” (as if everyone’s work is valuable because the individual doing it is a breathing human), know that I personally think you’re playing yourself and that it will only leave you feeling unfulfilled.
And I’m sorry if I sound mean, I just really want the best for people.
[EDITED TO ADD: I am a dyslexic bastard child whose mother didn’t marry until she was already in college. My father never paid child support. I don’t have a trust fund that was set up by grandparents. Sure, I had an academic scholarship, but I worked a part time job, was a full-time student, and the most prolific writer in my sketch comedy group. I’ve never not worked a paying job. Never. Since I was 12 years old, I’ve earned my own money. If you “can’t” do an unpaid internship because you “need to work”, you’re imagining that. You can intern on the weekends. You can do what my roommate currently does, and work three days in an office for free and every night of the week at a restaurant. Get admirable. No one feels bad for you, especially not me. Molls out!]