It's common knowledge that the current jobs market is competitive to say the least, with youth unemployment on the rise. The controversy surrounding unpaid internships then is illustrative of the dilemma many graduates face, stuck between a rock and a hard place where the need to earn money is in conflict with the need to gain experience in their field of interest.
Here I am finishing my university degree and finding myself once more in the tedious ceremonial that is the job hunt. The constant string of CV printing, interviews and searching. This is a fairly unpleasant process for most, but for someone with facial piercing it's always a bit more uncomfortable.
Commentators who support the changes will focus on the simplification of the welfare system and improvement in work incentives that this new benefit will herald. Those worried about the impacts will wring their hands about likely difficulties with on-line claims, financial management and a small number of people who stand to receive less than under the current system. Both of these groups have a point.
I've often said that planning a party sorts the men from the boys. It's either a total shambles, with relations strained and blood shed; or as easy as, well, organising a piss up in a brewery. And as a barman working in bars that sees every single type of party, I've been privy to a few 'do's (and the very definition of don'ts) in my time.
Students are notorious for being lazy but increasingly they are being forced into paid work while studying to supplement their living expenses. With a hike in housing prices, living costs, travel charges and those awful tuition fee increases, students are more than ever being found serving behind the bar rather than drinking at it.
Today's job market is tough. And there's no reason to imagine that it's going to get any easier any time soon. There's only one reliable way to get a job. We all know what it is, and mainly we try to ignore it, because it feels uncomfortable. It's about going out there, talking to people and making new contacts.
Who has to wear a suit to work? I count myself lucky that it's not enforced at my place of work and I can choose whether I go casual or smart. Thanks to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and a boom in the creative industries, turning up to work looking super smart is no longer seen as a requirement.
Whether the economy is booming or stumbling along, taking charge of your career and planning your next step should always be a priority. You can't wait for your genius to be benevolently discovered - the bottom line is that no one is as interested in your career, your talents, your aspirations as you are.
I was taken aback last week, to put it mildly, by the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Meyer's take on flexible working. It struck me as being an enormously retrograde step, based on mistaken views, and doubly puzzling coming both from the boss of a technology firm and someone who has at other times been a beacon for equality and forward thinking.