Firstly, a lot of people pay their own way for college/university and are in debt during and after their stay. To suggest they work for free would put them in more debt since they have to pay for transportation, food and use their time to do these jobs (time they could be using to make money at another job). I kind of had a similar experience to this because I agreed to work for a company that said they would pay me by setting up a payment method of paying me as a business so that they could save money on taxes. This meant I had to go a month and a half with no incoming money to help with food, transportation, etc. When my contract was up, my bank account was at 20 dollars (I still remember the amount because it was the lowest I ever had).When my contract was up with them, he told me he thought I set it up already and didn't know how to pay me. After threatening to go to the Better Business Bureau, I got my money hand delivered to my door by an agency worker. It just goes to show that some people will try to use you when your young and trying to get experience. Just because your new to a workforce doesn't mean people can try and get free work for something others get paid for.
Finding work in your field is hard enough but to think people should accept unpaid positions just to get in their field makes me question the point of going to school. If school is suppose to help you attain the skills required to get a job then why is everyone asking for more experience and offering unpaid positions? Shouldn't schooling be enough for an entry-level position? Even when I graduated from college and had some experience under my belt from co-op and temp jobs, getting an interview was still difficult. I remember applying to a company that accidentally emailed me back saying 'not enough experience' when she meant to forward that response to someone else. Of course I got an email telling me it wasn't intended for me but it just further proves that school and even some experience aren't enough these days.
When you do this type of work, you have to write down that it was a volunteer experience or unpaid internship on your resume (you could just put internship but they'll most likely ask how much you were paid). Furthermore, this could hinder your chances of negotiating a good wage for your next job because they see you are willing to work for free (they usually ask how much you were paid at your last job and try to see how much they can get you for). If companies see that you worked for free before, they may not be willing to negotiate that high or look at it as real experience since it's not a paid position. To add on to this, unpaid positions are usually the easy work that no one wants to do: filing, repetitive data entry, photocopying, answering the phone, etc. It's not real experience that can challenge you and look good on your resume. Other times, companies expect too much from their unpaid interns; in those cases it makes it even more apparent that they should be getting paid. Lastly, there would be a lack of motivation to do a good job when your not getting paid. You'll most likely be counting the days for it to end because there's no monetary incentive to stay after you learn everything (they say there is a chance the company would hire you but that is very rare).
You probably read all this and are wondering 'then what's the best way to get an entry-level job?' Every job you apply for wants more then just school experience; so to get a job you have to have had a job before...This is why MANY people lie on their resumes early on and get their friends to be references by pretending to have had managerial positions (this is how I got my first job). Although, I almost got caught doing this when a company called my aunt for a reference and her answering machine had her last name the same as mine. They then sent her a document to fill out and asked if her last name was the same as mine and if we were related. Needless to say, I didn't get the job and it could've been a lot worse (you can get in legal trouble for lying on your resume). That's why if you choose to go this route then make the experience believable (entry-level positions) and make sure to cover your tracks (show the people your using as a reference your resume and get the story straight). Although, I don't advise this route, sometimes people got to do what they must in such a bad economy.
You also have to know people to get jobs. A great number of companies hire internally and you wont know about it unless a worker from that company tells you or you work for that company. This is why it's very important to network with people by going to job fairs, agencies, workshop etc. Even meeting people at parties or bars can turn into a job; knowing a lot of people opens more doors.
I also had an experience where I was on a 6 month contract from a job I found on Monster.ca. Shortly after I got hired, two other people got hired full-time in the same positions. I was let go after 6 months when my contract was done while they got to stay with benefits and vacation days. The difference between me and them? I found the position online and had a couple of interviews while they knew somebody that worked for the company and only had one interview. Although, they did call me back after the person that replaced me wasn't doing a good job and offered me a full-time position; so if you do happen to get a job, always try your best and don't burn bridges because things can always work out for the best.
I cant complain about the job I have now because I'm grateful to have one. It may not be the best job to have when you own a college diploma but the environment and people are really nice. I wish everyone the best of luck in attaining a job that they are happy with because it really does make a difference in your life. Just keep your head up and continue to apply, DON'T QUIT!
I'm out for today though, as always feel free to follow your boy: