We’ve all done our share of free labor in the past; on occasion, I still do. Even at this point in my career, I’m not above working for free under the right circumstances. Here are four questions I ask myself before taking on my next unpaid project.
Do I care about this company’s mission?
If I don’t feel an emotional connection to the purpose or the mission of the company, then I’m probably not interested in doing work for them. For me, there has to be a level of altruism in the product or service they’re providing that I want to be associated with. This is first on the list for a reason — it’s the main deciding factor.
Will I still be interested three months from now?
This is important for me because I tend to have “shiny object syndrome”, and I sometimes bounce from one new project to the other. If I think a project is capable of holding my attention for longer than a couple months, the chances of me taking it on increases significantly.