Recently, I reentered the ranks of the unemployed and started searching for a new job — a familiar story to millions of unemployed workers in the U.S.
Before I started my job search, I wasn't worried. I have a strong online presence and have been used as a source in several magazines. Additionally, I've been featured in a CNN Headline News expose for my thinking. As I said, I wasn't worry and figured that eventually, some company would find me or I would find a job suitable for my talents.
However, this was my thinking before I started my job search and quickly I discovered that in my time away from the job hunt, the word "intern" had taken on a new meaning.
Apparently, "intern" now means, "one with experience, skills, drive, intelligence and a willingness to work for pie in the sky."
At every turn, I came across job listings for unpaid "internships" with a description of requirements and responsibilities that you'd expect to see on a job listing for a senior level position. For example, one posting I came across was for a "Social Media Intern."
The job's responsibilities included the following:
- Responsible for daily strategic posting of content (video, pics, articles, etc) on multiple social media sites for both our group and clients
- Copywriting for online (websites, blogs, social networking)
- Composing and distributing PR stories
- Developing presentations with Microsoft suite or iWork
- Administrative tasks (i.e. answering phones, ordering supplies, shipping packages, etc)
- Random other ad agency tasks
The requirements were:
- To be a college attendee or freshly graduated
- To live locally
- Demonstrated writing skills – writing samples, blog posts, press releases, etc
- Demonstrated social media skills - creative usage of social media to bring communities together (I need links)"
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The job posting seemed as if the company was looking for someone to act as a creative director, publicist, office manager and account manager — for free.