Why You Should Intern After 40

Why You Should Intern After 40

You have a serious problem.

At age 39, you feel stuck. You also believe the following:

  • If you quit now, life after 40 will be all about economic hardship.
  • After 40, no one will hire you.
  • You cannot intern. Starting over is impossible.

This post will address why these beliefs hold you back and why interning after age 40 makes sense.

Common myths

If you believe no one will hire you after age 40, or that quitting your job will result in a career disaster, your fears will manifest into a reality.

This belief sets you up for failure. You are learning nothing new and clinging to a job out of fear.

Additionally, you make yourself less attractive to other companies by looking like a person who fears change.

You become convinced no one will hire you. You fear others look at you as less productive or too old.

You also fear the idea of having a younger boss and fear being demoralized by someone your kid's age.  

Finally, you believe that interning is something people only do out of college. Wrong.

Companies will never save you from your own fears. They will perceive you as negative and cynical and will not hire you.

Why you should intern past age 40

Although you will not be making any money at first, there are loads of benefits that come with being a 40+ intern.

Learn new skills without paying for it

Schooling costs money whether you do classes online or in a classroom setting. Interning provides on-the-job training while you perform tasks for a company. It is a win-win.

You learn new skills as you work. The company benefits from not paying you.

Both parties experience working together, which can lead to the next reason why interning past 40 is great.

Get your foot in the door at a new company

You are working at a company for free, which gives their staff and management the chance to experience why your wisdom and business experience has great value.

If this company likes you and would be sad to see you leave, your internship can become your next full-time paid job.

Escaping fear and a declining career

Over the last 20 years, changes in technology and automation have made many careers and industries obsolete.

In the future, careers will continue to change due to artificial intelligence.

So, if you are feeling the pressure in your workplace from watching technology replace coworkers, it may be time to get out and learn something new.

The last thing you should do is trust that your industry will go in reverse. If you fear your job will be gone one day, do not hold onto it.

Start interning in a new career that sparks your interest.

Discovering new opportunities

All of the trials and hardships experienced during your career make sense only after something good happens. Interning is a way to make something good happen. 

All the things you do in your career taught you something. Use your career education to discover new opportunities through an internship.

There is a large list of people who found success after age 40. Their career experience during their 20’s and 30’s carried over in some way. Here are a few you may know:

  • Vera Wang - Figure skater, dancer, and journalist turned fashion icon at age 40
  • Henry Ford -  Farmer turned designer of the Model T car and innovative new labor practices at age 45.
  • Lynda Weinman - Graphic arts professor turned co-founder of Lynda.com at age 40.
  • Julia Child - Media and advertising employee turned writer at age 50 who was known for her cookbooks and television shows.

What they all have in common

They worked very hard in one industry. These skills somehow played a role as they sought out new interests after age 40.

Interning at age 40 is by no means a career death sentence. It could be the start of something new.

The only thing that will hold you back, eventually, is convincing yourself that change is impossible.

Keep a winning mindset and you will go further than you ever allowed yourself to imagine.

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