If you think work experience is only for sixteen-year-old keenos or degree students being forced by their tutors against their will you’re so wrong.
I recently finished two weeks unpaid work at Closer and I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I have ever done. You might be wondering what could be fun about waking up at the crack of dawn everyday and not getting home until gone 7pm without so much as a penny to show for it but the confidence and pride I earned was payment enough.
I realised that a first in Journalism doesn’t mean too much without any experience – and why should it? A piece of paper doesn’t really prove much other than you can string a bit of coursework together that you were probs given weeks/months/years to prepare. For that reason I’m so glad to have actually gained some experience in a real working environment.
Don’t get me wrong, I had my first job within a week of turning 16 and I’ve done unpaid work experience before so it’s not like I went in completely clueless – but my mentality was basically to go in, give as much as I possibility could and get even more back.
And that’s exactly what happened! I produced a lot of content while I was there but I’m most proud of my Twin Names feature, which is published on their website as well as a spread about realistic Instagram health stars which is coming out in their Diet Special issue on April 27th.
My goal was to have one byline so to get two and to be able to conduct my own interviews as well felt like a massive achievement. Yes – they got loads of free content from me but the confidence in myself and my abilities I gained was payment enough.
The realisation that I am actually so capable was legit the BEST feeling. Every day I woke up excited to go and I felt so sad when it was over! I’m just so grateful to everyone at Closer for being so welcoming to me and treating me like part of the team. They had such encouraging comments and even asked if I’m be available for cover work. Obvs I said yes!
So while the saying might go ‘if you’re good at something, you shouldn’t do it for free’ I think there’s definitely a little scope for that rule to be bent – at least to give you a chance to prove how good you are!