Why I Want To Hire A 40-Year-Old Intern

Mindy Felinton wants 40-year-old internAttorney Mindy Felinton has had a few college-age interns in the past. But this time, she's decided not to hire a 20-year-old girl with a budding interest in law. Instead, she wants to hire that girl's mom.

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.

More: Why You Should Grab That Unpaid Internship [Infographic]

Plus, Felinton's law office is Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers; her vocation is helping to organize nursing home costs, medicaid benefits, and wills.

"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."

More: The Advantage Of Being A 40-Year-Old Intern

Several companies have recently realized that targeting stay-at-home mothers is good business. Goldman Sachs trademarked the term "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 mindy@felintonlaw.com.

Would you want to be a 40-year-old intern?

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In My Opinion Only

If Hillary wins in 2016 it's time to hire 70 year old intern to disappoint her hubby, Bill.

January 09 2013 at 7:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a 58 year old intern - and it did turn into a new career.

January 08 2013 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Been hiring this age group for 25 years,,, Life experience on top of education, along with a little employer flexibility had been successful for all... I will take a stay at home mom for 20 years any day over a 20 or 25 year old... Good luck to this age group...

January 08 2013 at 10:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Gary Miller

I started a new job at 40 and am now retired at 58. It pays to take chances sometimes

January 08 2013 at 10:10 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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