Why you should take up free internship , great lessons to learn here.

BY SILAS NYANCHWANI.

I am actively looking for a job. But my CV has certain gaps for the two jobs that I am searching for. I learnt this painfully recently when I was eliminated from an interview of a job that would have definitely changed my life, for better.

In another interview, equally a good one, I scored 65 (according to their feedback), and I know the questions that I flunked what I should have done in my past to get the job.

I have good papers, no doubt, from the best university in Kenya and the world. But someone from a 'lesser' university with better experience will always beat me in as many job interviews as possible.

The gaps in CV, would have been filled in my younger days, had I volunteered somewhere, or even taken some unpaid internship. I would kill to get such a chance. But at my age (fast approaching 50), I don't have so many such opportunities, and often I look at the city clock and wonder if I could the hands of time.

The argument never goes away. Should interns be paid? Should one take an unpaid internship?

Most younger people with strong feelings for human rights think it is very exploitative and predatory for employers to use and abuse interns by not paying them. Fair enough. But there is an entitlement with which these young people argue that shocks me.

Ordinarily, by 20, everyone should know how the world operates, the rules of capitalism and the man-eat-man nature of our society. I love how they clamour for change, but their expectations must be tempered in reality.

I run a small company. Any time we have a kasmall budget, we do try to pay the young people who work for us, as I and my partner decided that consciously unpaid labour is the worst form of exploitation. We have gone through it but will not wish upon, other people. But if you run an SME, you will know access to finance has not been easy since the dynamic, youthful duo took over. And our company would have especially benefitted from volunteers, who would have grown to be partners (if we succeeded) or who would have gained so much experience since we already have the platforms they can use. One of our mainstay guys, who often tolerate delayed payments, I am sure in the future, with the experience he has garnered from us, he can definitely get something better in the future.

I saw, some guy mock owners of start-ups. That working for them is funny because every end-month, you have to be lectured how the company is going through bad times and owners of the company claim that they have not even made profit, or don't even pay themselves. The thread was cringe-worthy because for the three years we have been running the company, we have not paid ourselves anything, and scarcely have we broken even.

Most young people, the so-called millennials have some foolish entitlement that denies them so many opportunities, because they think they know better, yet frankly, most of them are awful. They have a lot to learn and by being humble, they can go places.

I would wish a world where interns were paid, and nobody exploited anyone. But that is not how the world works. Most companies, e.g in media are struggling to pay their staff, and may not even afford to sort an intern. At best, any company, should at least cater for the transport and lunch of the intern, but even this is tricky, because the economy is shitty.

Listen up, if you are a young man, and you have been offered an unpaid opportunity, and you have no option, take it. Don't let your degree or good papers, or pride fool you.

In that office, you can learn a lot. You can use their internet to apply for other jobs. See beyond your duties, what you can learn even from the boss. It is a rare breed of people who risk it all, to start a company. Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. If you are keen you can learn a lot. Raise the fare from your parents, brothers and even friends. The three or four months with the organization can prove handy in the future.

Obviously, there are other men who will be downright respectful, may be abusive, may try to take advantage of you sexually, and for this category, walk away with your dignity, and God will open another door.

But if it is an office where bosses are honest and have given you an opportunity, take it. Because, if you don't take it, there are people who will take it and five years from now, their star will shine brighter than yours, as you get denied jobs because your CV is too thin.

From the few job interviews I have attended, bullshitters will always get a job, ahead of the proud lot. There are people who list evry simple task they have ever done, even the two hour volunteering they did at a church service. And from an HR point of view, bullshitting always wins. That is how Ole Gunnar whatever got his job at Man U.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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