AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
October 26, 2017

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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Is Working for Free Worthwhile?

AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
October 26, 2017

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

The topic of working for free comes up frequently while in college or looking for a career. With Reynolds and Reynolds, you won’t have to face working unpaid. We pay all of our employees, including our interns.

Many companies don’t compensate their interns, or they open positions for volunteers. The job can be everything you are looking for, minus the paycheck. You find yourself in a bind.

Is it worth it?

There are a few things to consider when looking into unpaid work experience. The largest obstacle is financial risk. Can you afford to work unpaid? If you have immediate debt or other financial obligations, working for free probably isn’t a good idea. Although volunteering can help you get ahead, don’t hurt yourself financially in the long-run. There is always time to volunteer before or after work.

If you are able to work for free, then look at the job description. Is this position something you are passionate about? Every job has hurdles to overcome, and the company will need you to be as committed as a paid employee. If the job gets you experience, but you aren’t thrilled with the duties, there may be a better position elsewhere.

Another thing to keep in mind is the question of if the experience will help you in your future endeavors. Feeding penguins at the zoo would be a fun experience, but unless you are in an animal-related field, it isn’t going to help you get ahead.

Last but not least, research the company. See where people who previously worked in your position are today. Check into the experiences you would gain, and where it could take you. Do you get any certifications or licensures from working at this location? What skills do employees develop during their time at the company? If you meet with the employer, they can probably give you more details on what your future could look like.

You have to decide what is best for you in the long-run. Volunteer work can help you land a dream job, but it isn’t worth the risk if it puts you back farther than it will help you get ahead. Keep your future as the number one priority, and your career will follow.


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