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This is a story by Felicia Edlin that ran in the Little Pink Book newsletter on Nov. 7, 2012.

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton

Not so long ago, internships were reserved for college students. That’s changing.

With high unemployment rates, many women are switching careers with the help of internships to learn fresh skills and widen their network.

These days, mid-career internships are viewed as an investment to a new career, not as a regression. Ideally, an internship could lead to a full-time position.

If not, it’s a way to keep up skills in between jobs.

Career expert J.T. O’Donnell says in-depth discussions with mentors and career advisors are essential to discovering what you are interested in.

O’Donnell suggests digging deeper into why you want to make the transition. Mid-career internships are most successful for those who plan a way to support themselves if it’s an unpaid opportunity, or not as well-paying as their current job.

Mid-career professionals have high chances of being snapped up for an internship because they have already shown reliability and work ethic with prior experience. They also tend to be more self-sufficient, which saves time and money for employers.

Engaging LinkedIn to reach out to contacts in different industries is a bonus that internship-seekers never had in the past.

Asking friends to set you up with networking groups in your desired field can also help you find potential internship or volunteer availabilities.

Your resume gets padded, while you get to test the waters in a new field – perhaps to discover it was your calling all along!

Here is another Indiana INTERNnet blog post about a non-traditional intern.

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