Tag Archives: elance

Internship – Slavery 2.0

Internship / Slavery 2.0

Looking at the picture of the man and the woman you could be forgiven for thinking the post was maybe going to be about Valentines and kinky bondage of some sorts. Read the poem however and hopefully it will become a bit clearer.

When I started out in webdesign “professionally” (I’ll use that term loosely as I started without any qualifications in webdesign) around 10+ years ago I was young and very much naive. I … I … I did things for money I’m not proud of … yes I did websites for 20quid and a 6pack of red bull ( a reference to my post on what to charge for webdesign ). I was young I wanted to make a name for myself I wanted to build a portfolio and I really didn’t understand how the world worked. You’re told things by people and because they have so much more experience you think they must be true.

  • I’ll tell all my friends you did my website (WOW you mean I get to do more cheap websites for your friends)
  • It’ll look great on your portfolio ( A couple of hundred in my wallet wouldn’t hurt either you know )
  • If this works out there’s the potential for a lot more work

I think the last one here is key. What exactly do they mean by that. More work at a crap rate is generally what it means. We just need this next bit of work done and we’ll get the money onto you. Can you sort us out with this it’s hurting our business.

I’ve personally learned this just doesn’t work out. People generally don’t respect you and you end up getting screwed over. I’d love for it to be different it’s generally not. While the sites you end up doing here may end up looking good on your portfolio so would potentially doing some websites for charity or something similar and probably pay just as well. ( See http://24theweb.com/ as an example of what I’m on about but it doesn’t have to be a competition and you could approach a charity yourself … sometimes they’ll have money / grants available who knows. )

Flash forward to the present day. The Irish / World economy is … well … not in a happy place to put it nicely. What do I see … I see all these people who in the past have been huge advocates of the advice you never do work for free seeking out interns. So what’s the pay like? Well as far as I can tell it’s pretty **** and it’s not really pay. It’s a stipend 400 or 500 quid a month which lets face it if you’ve got rent to pay isn’t a hell of a lot. Now if they were looking for a student I might be thinking ok it’s placement it’s not always guaranteed to be well paid and if it’s part of their course they have placement then so be it suck it up get graded for the work/project and so be it (in my year a lot of our class ended up in fairly decent summer jobs with companies). These companies however are looking to recruit fresh graduates out of college for the offer of a life time. 6 Months work … 3 grand over the course of this time WOW … and we might just hire you at the end? erm hang on this really seems two faced.

It reminds me a bit like all these business people I’ve seen lauding the advantages of outsourcing their website development to elance and so on as yes it can be much more cost effective and then expecting people to buy their Irish product cus it’s an Irish product and supporting their Irish job? erm… a bit hypocritical.

Anyways just a rant I needed to get out of my system … while I know times are tough they are tough for everyone not just your business so if looking into taking on an intern please think about paying them something to make it at least worth their while. You’ll no doubt tell me of the great advantage having the job on their CV will be for them and how much time and effort you’ll have to put into training them up but half the time it just seems to me you’re out to make a quick buck from your free worker.

I would however love to hear from any Interns and actual positive experiences they’ve had.