In addition to many work-related challenges military spouses face, a hyper-competitive job market makes building a career seem borderline impossible.
Internships, whether unpaid (good) or paid (better!), are a fantastic way to gain real-world work experience, fill in gaps on a resume, sharpen marketable skills and even pass the time during a short stay at a duty station.
Internships can can provide an edge to recent college grads and older adults alike. College grads need experience to bring to the corporate table and other military spouses, such as those who have taken a long hiatus to raise families and support their hard-working spouses, likely need to sharpen their skills and update their know-how to mesh with current technology.
Another big bonus to taking an internship is they often provide the foot-in-the-door you need to get hired as a full-time employee or contractor. A few months on the job of training will make you a much more appealing job candidate, and an employer is much more likely to begin to view you and your skills as indispensable.
How can you find an internship?
It might be easier than you think. There are more adult internships in the corporate world than ever before, so you’ll likely be in good company.
Check job search sites like SargesList and social media sites, like LinkedIn, for potential matches. You can also directly contact companies with your qualifications and intent and see if they’ll agree to a trial internship. This is much easier to accomplish if you’re willing to work unpaid for a short time.
You also may have more luck if you approach small or medium-sized companies, non-profits and other organizations where you can more easily take a personal approach and pitch to the leadership.
On your way out the door (assuming you’re not on the pay roll), don’t forget to secure references and ask for a letter of recommendation! They’re worth their weight in gold – or paychecks.