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Monday, April 25, 2011

Huffington Post Law Suit: Should You Work For Free?

Should you work for free? Here are 7 things to consider before making that decision

Should You Work For Free?


Film Co. Lawyer said...
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Film Co. Lawyer said...

I work in an industry where working for free is generally how one starts out. However, I think it depends on a number of factors:

* Where you're at in your career (how much experience do you already have at doing whatever you're being asked to do)
* Your resources for doing free work: For instance, I'm not going to do free writing work for you if someone else is paying me for it. Nor will I work for a cheaper rate when I already get a higher one elsewhere.
* Your schedule and needs (I have no time to be charitable to strangers)
* The person asking for free services (background, financial resources)
* Whether reimbursements are available (travel, paper, ink, copies, etc. cost MONEY; some people seeking freebies don't bother considering that)

I'm at a stage in my career where I absolutely will not work for free on any of my endeavors unless you are an industry friend, a close contact or I'm getting an ownership interest. Though much of my entertainment work isn't paid, you'd better believe I have ownership interest and written confirmation that I will benefit as the business profits.

I think working for free is okay if you are given schedule flexibility, reimbursement for costs and the employer treats you with common decency. Any professional entertainment business does this & people like me do note when an employer is abusing "freebies" or using that system to displace paid workers (such as posting for an internship that is 35-40 hours a week).

This is taking legal requirements for internships & volunteer work aside but employers should note that you get what you pay for + if you use free work on important tasks, it makes you look shoddy and unprofessional if you don't pay for quality talent. Would you want a brain surgeon to give you free services?