Never pay to work

24 May

I just wasted some time looking into journalism internships in the US and Spain and had a hard time finding unpaid internships. And in this day and age, you’re often lucky to get an unpaid internship if you’re career is not in accounting or engineering. What they did have, in plenty, were internships for which you pay to be a fact-checking, coffee-getting peon, along with a slew of internships for which you pay to be able to volunteer your time, teaching English to children.

Ridiculous. You pay, sometimes 3k for a month or so, to be able to take a flight to a foreign country (another thou) and live in camp-style lodgings, pay for your own food and drink, and spend your days dealing with bratty, obnoxious, snotty-nosed kids. While I’m at the point where I’d take an unpaid internships for some sort of in to a job which I might immensely like, I’m not about to volunteer my services, especially for something I don’t enjoy (aka, work), and on top of that, pay bank to be able to do so.

Whoever set up this system is brilliant. I should probably open a school in Spain and do the same thing. Think about it. You can charge the kids’ parents a ton for summer camps, you can charge your foreign teachers to come and “volunteer” from abroad, while you just sit back with a rake and bag for the dough falling into your lap. Hell, why not put $50 application fees, so that way you can get something from all the people you reject.

Really, people. Make it your policy never to pay to work. Do a little research. You can have my job, working 16 hours a week, and make a livable (albeit, far from lavish) wage, or you can, at the very least, volunteer on a farm (wwoofing) and get free food and board, or find some kind of volunteer work that doesn’t send you to the poorhouse. And then, there’s always South Korea, where English teaching is an actual career.

But I’m sure I’ll continue to run into people, as I did the other night, squandering fortunes on these silly programs (scams) which should probably not even be legal. Some probably go by the exalted pseudonym of non-profit, but generally speaking there’s some dude at the top taking in a good 100k a year for all the effort he puts into his philanthropic work.


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