Becoming Professional: A Blog

Would you work for free?

Posted on: April 3, 2010


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Everyone who enters the work force in a service industry, whether you be an accountant or a masseuse, will get asked to ply their trade for free. Examples:

  • Speach Pathologist: “After work, would you mind coaching my child? He has trouble with his ‘r’s?”
  • Marketer: “Hey, would you mind helping me with my Facebook Fan Page?”
  • Computer Tech: “My computers on the fritz. Would you take a look?”
  • Masseuse: “My shoulders hurt. Could you help?”

And the list goes on. Those that ask these questions don’t realize that we don’t do what we do just because we like to (though I hope you like your profession); it pays our bills. This is particularly true for professionals just starting out. Our friends just mean to ask for favors. In reality they are asking for free work product. But how do you say no to friends? Me, I have taken to bartering: “I’ll come up with press releases for you if you come up with artwork for me.” That kind of thing.

But the fact remains, that aint money. And it isn’t just my long-term friends who have taken to asking. We, the young professionals of the world, aren’t used to haggling, and frankly we haven’t been trained to. Our career centers tell us to volunteer and to intern to get experience. I’ve gotten so used to working for free that when it comes to freelance, I’m at a loss. How much is a Facebook Page Design worth?

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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog (maskedgeek.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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