Is It Unfair To Be Unpaid?

10th October 2013
Posted in Trending
10th October 2013 Lisahh-Jayne

You’ve worked hard for the past three or four years and are rewarded at the end of it with a shiny new degree. So now what? It’s on to the job search.  The only problem is that today’s economy is not in the best of shapes; there isn’t a great deal of graduate friendly jobs, but there are thousands of graduates eager to start work. And this is something that multi-million pound organisations are cashing in on.

With a lack of graduate jobs, you may have to substitute a job for an internship. Sound good? Well actually most of them require you to work for free. But is it unfair to be unpaid?


As I’ve been in continuous employment since the age of sixteen, working for free seems unfair. I haven’t had the most glamorous of jobs, but I’ve always been paid at least minimum wage. The idea of putting in hard working hours to ultimately not be rewarded financially for it seems ridiculous. But according to the Guardian, almost all students are prepared to work unpaid to secure a graduate job.

A lot of graduates also find themselves lacking in relevant work experience to be able to progress straight into a job. So internships, although unpaid, are a way of getting on-the-job training relevant to the field. But with the majority of job opportunities based down south and in particular London, how is it expected that graduates can afford to travel to and from their unpaid internships?

Even this lot pay

Even this lot pay something

Unpaid jobs are fine for those who can financially support themselves to do so, but in all honesty how many graduates can afford to work for free after being at university for three or four years? Even if unpaid work opportunities don’t value my time and skills, I do. And if an unpaid work opportunity won’t recognise how much hard work has been put into graduating with a decent degree whereby my aim was to land a successful, paid job at the end of it, then unpaid jobs aren’t for me. There’s no doubt in my mind that it is unfair to be unpaid. If you feel the same, you could always follow in Marina Shifrin’s footsteps and announce ‘I quit’ in style.


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Lisa Bollins


22 year old Media & Communications graduate. Social media enthusiast, makeup addict, nail varnish hoarder, and beauty blogger over at I like to write about all things beauty related.

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