Working free of charge?! Well it certainly sounds silly, but sometimes it is a good idea.
Consider for whom you are working? Is it your Mom, a non-profit, a friend, an employer, or an online mystery organization? Weigh the pros and cons. How much karma will you receive? Is there actually a benefit for you? Or is someone taking advantage of you?
If you provide services without compensation, don’t let it become a regular thing. Doing a project for a friend or employer may be beneficial. Free work may help you build your portfolio, gain experience, get exposure, enhance your resume, or show off your skills. You’re still working and that experience can be added under “Work Experience” on a resume very easily. A single freebie may ultimately lead to a new job or more freelance work. It’s worth considering.
For others, working for free goes against everything they stand for. Their skills are their money makers. If they don’t want to contribute to the greater good, so be it. No one will ever take advantage of them and they will always be paid for their talents. But they may miss a golden opportunity to showcase their talents to a potential client or audience.
There is a hilarious chart out there by Jessica Hische that may help you determine if working for free is right for you. Take the time and follow the flow chart to see. Even if you would never work for free, this graphic is well worth a few chuckles. Enjoy!