I start my new (temporary full time) hours this week!
I also randomly got myself a small contributing gig writing for an online women’s mag (unpaid) and will be doing a little work – mostly from home – compiling newsletters for another magazine.
I always do this: load myself up with commitments, that is.
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Speaking of which, I was just thinking the other day that the creative industries seem to dominate unpaid work. By that I mean, in how many other fields are you expected to work for free to prove yourself? This Idealog article sums up what it’s like for graduates in the arts and media trying to kickstart a career.
It’s been a while since I did unpaid work. I’ve done a reasonable amount of voluntary writing. Last year, I landed my first paid writing assignments, and this new gig is my first step back into the world of writing for free. Not that I mind; it’s going to be great experience and it’s an up and coming publication.
How many of you have done unpaid work experience or internships, and for how long?
I do agree that creative industries think you should work for free
Advertising and marketing come to mind 😛
I haven’t done any unpaid work, except blog.. is that considered “work”?
I’ve done some recently over the past months, partly just for fun, but it became too much driving (over an hour each way) for free. The work was interesting while I still had the time to commit, though.
I did a one-month unpaid internship last May, a week at my hometown newspaper last December, and contributed several articles to local papers for free throughout my schooling last year.
But, I don’t write for free anymore. I’ve started to build up a small base of freelance clients that pay, so unless an amazing opportunity comes up I won’t write for nothing. I feel like I’ve paid my dues so to speak and deserve to write for money now!
Why do you think it is that you can’t show a portfolio of work, you have to submit new free work to land a job? or is it that in building your portfolio, you wind up having to do a lot of free stuff…
I’m not really sure what you mean Jessie? When you’re starting out and need to prove yourself there’s no one who’s going to pay you, so yes, you do end up working for free or in your own time. Or even if you’re changing industries. We had a guest speaker come in to talk to us – she worked on Sunday papers, then moved into PR, and after that couldn’t get back into paid journalism so had to do a bit of writing for free to build up her portfolio and cre again.
I shadowed a guy in my ‘dream’ chosen profession for two months over a summer in college for free. just goes to show–i LOVED my two mo experience but HATED that profession when I got a job in it 5 years later (after grad school). Other than that, I’ve never worked for free, and my master’s degree was not only paid for (tuition waived), but I got paid to get my degree (not much, just a living wage). I know i’m supremely lucky to be in science.
I am in awe of you guys in the arts for sticking with your passion even though the money’s not there at first.
I should say that while I was working for free, I was living at home with my parents in between academic years, and food and everything was totally paid for by them…so it’s not like it was difficult financially!
What a great post! I completely agree that creatives get paid s#&! for the amount of work that they put in, and the industry seems to think that they should be perfectly happy with very little, or no pay at all.
I’ve come across more and more lowballing offers (for more work) in my freelancing work, especially in light of the current economy. In addition, there are so many talented people out there — aka my competition — who are willing to work for so little money, because they NEED the money, that are driving down the prices for freelancers everywhere.
@Sense that is amazing! I know people do get paid to get their master’s and what not, but still can’t quite get my head around it 😛 Right now I am so over academics, but I’m sure if I somehow had the opportunity in future I wouldn’t turn it down.