Too old for internships?

The world is changing, causing us to change with it, or be dragged down by the undercurrent. For the longest time, I have been trying to find a suitable part-time job to help support myself whilst I write. The peak of my job search was probably after my graduation last September, and by December, I knew that I was facing a brick wall with thousands of other job hunters on my side.

What do we do in this situation? I changed tactics and instead, searched for internships that would help improve my skills and increase my experience, which should hopefully help with my employability.

In December, I approached Spectacle PMG – the publishers who gave my zombie story (Nine Lives) second place and a part in their zombie anthology, Eat – for a position as an editorial intern. They said yes! I have been helping them with editing since then. The experience is priceless and the people working there are the nicest, most patient and nurturing bunch. In the short few months, I have opened my eyes to different styles of writing and I am learning to be professional and critical about my reading and writing. I really enjoy editing for them and I hope that it will be something that I will be able to do for the long-term.

In December, I had also contacted the Literary Consultancy to see if they were interested in having an intern around. They said, “Let’s talk”, so I postponed that until we got back from our trip to Malaysia at the end of February. I called them up and they told me that they are still interested in having an intern, so I showed up for a quick chat with them, resulting in another part-time internship starting tomorrow.

So, I’m thirty-four this year and I have a CV full of achievements, and I am working two internships.

Am I too old for internships?

You tell me.

I think people are afraid of being too old for internships, because they feel that menial or administrative tasks are only for the youth or inexperienced. Most people who work can tell you that is bullshit. Every job, every role, regardless of the level, salary or place, requires some sort of menial and administrative tasks to be done. At least when you’re older and more experienced, you should hopefully be able to recognise these tasks for what they are, and be able to see past them to learn the new skills that you’ve never had a chance to be exposed to.

I don’t know if my internships will land me the part-time job that I want going forward, but I do know that I am working. As I work, I grow, I experience and I get better at my trade, whilst helping others. There is no longer a sense of secrecy in the workplace anymore. The trade secrets that are so well kept when I had first started working, no longer applies in today’s work environment. It is a sharing environment, where everyone tries to do their best to help others get better, whilst improving themselves.

I know that in my CV, there won’t be any gaps. I also know that I feel better for doing what I am doing and it is helping me reach my own goals as a writer too.

So, don’t be afraid to volunteer your time if you’re unemployed at the moment. If you are going to be sitting around with no income anyway, do something with that time. Something that will help you and fulfil you.