Why you should work for free

3 easy steps that help you decide wether you should do the job for free or not.

*Disclaimer* I might not be the first one to say this.

One thing I have learned in my short unprofessional-professional life is that you should choose a network over a few bucks. If you have a set of skills for which you get asked to help someone out you should do this for free, obviously there are exceptions but it’s up to you to make the right decision. How do you decide?

  • Look at the potential of the business employing you.
    Is it a fast growing business? Could you become part of the team? If it’s a new business with little funds, doing something for free/for little money will be remembered and will basically leave them indebted to you.
  • Look at the network of the employer.
    Chances are that the one who hires you for the job has a network that could greatly benefit you. Use this. Establish new connections, any at all. 
    Make a genuine impact when connecting and networking; tell stories but more importantly listen to theirs. Listen, listen, nod, laugh, smile, listen, listen, comment, ask something about their story, listen, listen, give your opinion and reply. Avoid smalltalk as this is usually seen as a waste of time.
  • Look at the experience you could gain.
    Thinking of working for a large company in the future? One where experience is required? Now you have something to put on your resume. Also.. it might just be a great and fun experience.

Some people might see it as wasting their time, it, most of the time, is not. When I started working I did not know what the value was of my job and besides, I was being compensated in another way which was fine because this is exactly how I built my network. More about that later though.

My piece of advice is to always ask yourself if the business employing you has a significant growing potential, if the employer has a network that could benefit you and if the job would look good on your resume/ if the experience could be fun.