Why I Want To Hire A 40-Year-Old Intern
Felinton was watching a "Today" show segment on "40-year-old interns," when the Washington, D.C.-area attorney realized that's exactly what she needed: Stay-at-home mothers (or fathers) looking to return to the workforce. She would pay them a "reduced" wage for three to six months, then hire the person for a competitive salary if he or she proved up to snuff. Felinton wouldn't say how much or even what the pay range would be for the internship, explaining: "I really don't know, it varies on their background."
At that life stage, Felinton thought, these older men and women likely have experience in both the professional world and in the stresses and strains of child-rearing. "The people in that category, this age group, are people who may have more of a sense of responsibility," Felinton said.
"For my business, I'm dealing with clientele who can relate to someone in their 40s and 50s, rather than someone in their 20s," she said.
The internship model would let her try out these new recruits without too much expense, before taking them on full-time. Felinton, whose estate-planning practice is in the business of helping baby boomers, also likes the idea of lending a hand to older people who might have too big a hole in their resumes to land a job straightaway.
"I don't think that because someone hasn't worked for 12 years that they should hang it up," she said. "It's win-win."
"Returnship" in 2008 for its 10-week paid return-to-work program, and at least a dozen other companies have followed its lead.
Now Felinton just has to find the right job-hunting mothers or fathers in her area. The internships are for a legal assistant and a receptionist, and after the trial period they would receive a "competitive" salary for her area, she says, and the possibility of becoming a paralegal at her firm.
So if you're a stay-at-home parent looking to leap back into the working world, and you live in the Rockville, Md., area, feel free to email Felinton at email@example.com.
Would you want to be a 40-year-old intern?
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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