Internships are not just for the young!
If the word “internship” brings thoughts of your college or grad-school self, its time for you to expand your horizons. Internships are not just for the blue-eyed lads anymore.
It is as much for the wrinkled, grey-haired, wisdom-laden 50 somethings. For adults in 30s, 40s, and beyond, who want to re-start afresh in a new career in a different field or for returnees from their short or long career breaks, internships open up a whole world of possibilities. Whether you took the break to fend for your family, to nurse a child, to tend to an elder, or to travel around the world, restarting a career after a break can be a daunting task and looking for resources to start over can be overwhelming.
Returnship – the adult internship
Although the term “returnship” was originally trademarked by Goldman Sachs, years ago when they began their first program to help women return to workforce after taking career break to raise their kids, the option is now open to both men and women with breaks in their careers, with a host of programs offered by the corporate world. An internet search for companies and organisations providing “returnships” will throw a whole lot of local and global corporates, hiring career re-launchers.
Prepping up for to re-launch the new you.inc.
While you get back in touch with old colleagues, add new skills, polish your old ones, spruce up your resume and prep hard for the interviews, also consider networking online thru LinkedIn and professional groups on social media. Expand your network through face to face networking events in your city via, sites like Eventbrite and Meetup.
Resources to help restart your career afresh
Besides the corporate adult internship programs, there are some internship-specific sites that offer internships to anyone who would have the aptitude, acumen, transferable and newly acquired skills in that field. Here are some amazing resources to get you started on re-building a smarter profile for a newer you.
Angellist is a website for startups, angel investors and job-seekers looking to work at startups. Angellist has a job collection for internships with startups across the globe, and some remote options too.
Idealist is a go-to destination for non-profit careers, started with a mission to connect idealists: people who want to do good – with opportunities for action and collaboration. Idealist lists non-profit internship opportunities across the globe and some remote internship options as well.
Path Forward is a nonprofit organisation on a mission to get people back to work after they’ve taken time off to care for a loved one. Path Forward works with companies in the U.S. to create mid-career internship opportunities to women and men who need to re-enter the workforce. Companies get to tap into this talent pool that often goes overlooked.
Society for Women Engineers (SWE) has teamed up with re-entry firm iRelaunch, currently only in the U.S., to create opportunities for women engineers, who are interested in getting back to their technical careers, through a new initiative called the STEM Re-entry Task Force. Carol Fishman Cohen, a returning professional herself, is a career re-entry expert, and the co-founder of iRelaunch, has given this inspiring TED talk for career re-launchers and her vision for iRelaunch.
Finding an internship in the mainstream job market
Mainstream global job portals like monster.com and indeed.com have their own listing of paid internships too. You just need to set your filters for internships. As also the student internship sites like internships.com, looksharp.com. And there are some niche career sites like creativejobcentral.com for creative careers, that also cater to internship opportunities, apart from mainstream jobs. Applying to these standard internships also calls for convincing the prospective employer with what you bring to the table as an experienced intern.
Ready, steady, re-launch!
If you’ve been out of workforce for some time, adult internship is really a second chance to succeed and make your mark. While it is not a guarantee for a job, it is definitely a “learning by doing” approach to acquire market-worthy skills. It is never too late to start over. You just have to be strategic in your approach. Done right with some soul searching, sound research, the returnship resources and avenues that the new age internet has to offer, you are all set to turn it around in your second lap.