How free work can benefit your career!
This topic has been adopted into the workplace for many years in an unnoticed fashion. Nobody ever put much thought into the benefits it could yield until recently.
The term free work was pioneered by a creative young man named Charlie Hoehn. You can see his work and thoughts on Youtube, Ted Talks, his personal website or read about them in his eBook. We have all done some free work over the years from working an internship, volunteering for a charitable cause or just helping out a family member get something done around the house.
Free work is simply a way to get you in the door ahead of the pack. The job market today is very competitive. Let’s say you have just finished school, and you are a graphic designer. You draft a nice professional resume and go apply for a job to all the local branding firms in your area. Weeks go by, and no one calls you back. Since you have no real job experience and only a degree, employers assume you are not an eligible candidate. In some cases, this can occur for months and maybe years with no luck at landing a good position over experienced designers. Not only are you not getting many calls for interviews but the one interview that does want to hire you pays very poorly and would barely cover the monthly fee of your student loan.
Now this is where the free work concept comes into play. You can post an ad on a local classified site, write it on your twitter bio, email, cold call business owners direct or even post in the hiring section of your local newspaper. What you would post or discuss with business owners would be something along these lines. Hi my name is blank, and I have experience in this field, I am proposing to you today that I am willing and able to help your company with my many skills. I have recently graduated from school, and I will work for free, all I ask in return is a letter of recommendation and the permission to display some of my completed work to help build my portfolio. Some people will think you are crazy and pass on you, but others will take you up on the offer. Let’s be honest they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain and if you do not do a good job is easier to let you go than trying to fire an employee.
Businesses have been doing this for years using different terminology. For example, internships are a clever way to test and find skilled graduates before bringing them onto the team. Another way is working with freelance contractors. In many cases, freelance contractors become so valuable to a company that they get offered a full-time position at some point.
What will transpire over time is you will gain real-life work experience for reputable company’s in your local area and even in other areas if you can manage to do the free work via the internet. The sky is the limit because you can email famous movie stars, Fortune 500 companies, record producers, and see if you can assist them with some free work. The bigger the company or name, the better it is for you in the long run. When it is time to re-make your resume and compile a portfolio, as you can now clearly imagine, this will be a game changer next time you go apply for a job. Not only will you get in the door ahead of others but it will make you valuable and put you in the position to get a superb paycheck from day one.
Another interesting thing you may find trying out this free work concept is when you do start working for a company for free they will see first hand how valuable you are. In many cases, a company will offer you a position at some point because they will not want to lose you. So if you are a freelancer, this can turn free clients to paying clients, or it can land you stable employment at some point if done right. The possibilities are endless.
An excellent book to read is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. In one particular section, Napoleon Hill talks about Edwin C. Barnes imagining himself working with Thomas Edison. If you read in-between the lines, Mr. Barnes used this concept, and it paid off in a major way. Edwin C. Barnes became Thomas Edison’s partner and then went on the be a treasured man within the company. If you have not read Think and Grow Rich you should go and buy a copy today.
As you can clearly see, you can use this free work concept to get your dream job or use it to launch your personal service business. Experiment with free work and never give up because you are the master of your future, and you hold the cards that shape your dreams and make them come true.