Work for free they said.. it’ll be fun they said..
I’m serious. Everyone should work for free. OK calm down; I obviously don’t mean forever. And I understand that working for free just isn’t feasible for some people, and that’s OK. If you have a family to provide for, or you’re simply in a massive amount of debt from student loans (aren’t we all), then of course money needs to be coming in from somewhere. All I’m saying is, if you have the luxury of being able to work for free at some point in your life, I highly recommend it. Let me explain:
I worked for free most of my college career. And for some reason, I absolutely loved it. I felt like there was less pressure on me since I wasn’t getting a paycheck. I also felt like I was paying my dues for something much better later in life (still waiting on that). I spent most of my days researching internships in my field, and I ended up finishing my college career with 3 internships under my belt. I must admit, I was sort of (and still am) obsessed with Lauren Conrad and wanted her life. An internship at Teen Vogue? Yes please.
But in all seriousness, working for free made me a better employee. I wanted to learn as much as I could from anyone who was willing to help me. My first internship was for a small, local landscaping business. I wrote press releases, managed their social media accounts and handled the everyday administrative tasks. I then got an internship near my university at a small fashion boutique. I learned the ins and outs of the buying process, managed their social media accounts, planned in-store events and even assisted in styling clients.
All of this was great experience, but made me realize that I wanted something bigger. So, I made the decision that I was going to land myself a fashion internship in New York City. Seventeen Magazine was my top choice, but unfortunately, that didn’t pan out. I did eventually land myself an internship at a Fashion Public Relations Firm in Soho. And to say I was excited is an understatement. I got the opportunity to work with some major fashion publications, and the team of girls I worked with were amazing. I enjoyed the city life for a hot minute, but quickly realized it just wasn’t for me. I learned that I’d much rather get in my car and drive to work. Taking the bus, then getting on the subway, and then walking 15 blocks in the scorching heat wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
The point is, because I could work for free, I got the opportunity to experience several different work environments and gain a multitude of skills. 3 different internships in 3 different cities. I’d say that’s pretty cool.