Should We Work for FREE? YES! Of course!

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Should you work for free? Is this even a topic we should talk about? YES!

When I started my business, web design, and graphic design service, a lot of people are asking me to work for free. “Do that for free in exchange for whatever they value your work”, “work with this project for free for you to build your portfolio”, or even promote my business with cheaper value. I tend to feel offended. We spent a lot of money on our education, sleepless nights to hone our precious skills, and a whole lot of negative criticisms that almost made us stop pursuing our craft. How can other people even think that we should work for free? Is this even good for ourselves or our business? My answer is still yes! But everything depends on a lot of things.

Let’s start with why should we work for free?



Some people find it stupid. I do too, but then I realize that working for free isn’t always stupid. Working for free could be the smartest thing you could do to propel your career towards success. As I’ve said above, everything depends on many things. We should work for free because it will probably build in us the attitude to give more value to our work.

I’ll give you an example.

Would Google hire you If you are a start-up agency or a small design studio or even an individual freelancer? Most probably, NOT! But why? Because you are not as big as them and you are not even valuable to them. But when Google asks you to work for free for a certain project, it is a different thing. We would feel honored, and it feels like it’s a privilege for us to work for Google even if it is FREE.

There are people or companies that we admire or look up to that we may consider working for free on a certain project for them. It can be the next big thing for our portfolio. Since the project was done for a company that is way bigger than us, it gives more value to our portfolio. Plus, the next time they need someone to do paid work for them, they will consider your services especially if you gave them a marvelous job. Or they can recommend you to others.

The same thing applies to our family and friends. We consider working for free for them if the project will help them with their growth. Or if the task is a bit technical and complex for them.

On the contrary, would you work for someone’s small business? Yes and No. If that certain project will only benefit them, not us, we might turn them down. But if the project has a big possible return for us, I would be more than happy to help.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not promoting that we work for free.

In my status, I won’t even do that. It is because I consider myself a has much more value compared to the time when I was just starting. Maybe, if I’m not busy, but I won’t choose that over my regular gig since it is my bread and butter.

So, everything is on a case-to-case basis. Now, Should you work for FREE? YES! Only if it is beneficial for us! 🙂

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