Recently, I posted the article, “4 Ways to Deal With an Employment Gap on Your Resume,” on LinkedIn with the comment:
“Interesting article – it focuses on temp/contract assignments, which I do agree with- but doesn’t mention other options: like going back to school for more training (certifications or a degree), internships (yes, even for “experienced” workers), or volunteering. What other suggestions would you have?”
One of my network instantly commented, “I’d love to hear more about internships for experienced workers. How can I make that fit into my gap, especially when it would be a little stretch to widen my career opportunities?”
And so I pulled up several articles online talking about this relatively recent phenomenon.
So, in essence I see several opportunities in taking an internship. First, if you are in the situation of needing to change careers, you will be able to try out different jobs before committing to your new career path. Second, the new experience built into your resume can lead to being hired at the internship company, or giving you the breakthrough experience that will get you hired somewhere else. And finally, the contacts you receive through interning can be very beneficial to your career journey.
The only downsides to internships is the low-to-no pay, and the need to accept that you’ll be working your way up from the bottom once again. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, but not accepting those outcomes up front can mean you spend your time building up resentment to being low-man-on-the-totem-pole again, and end up walking around with a chip on your shoulder. Which, is never a good way to enter a possible new position.
And considering the movies and TV shows that have been using “older workers taking an internship” as a plot line gimmick recently, I believe this trend is going to continue as it gains popularity.