Infographic: Should You Work For Free In Order To Secure A Job?

Sep 7, 2016 | 0 comments


Probably one of the most sought after answer in the working world, borderline controversial and somewhat dependent on the situation you’re in. Personally, I think there’s no right and wrong on how you approach this matter, as long as the benefits you gain out of it can be considered a worthwhile investment, irregardless whether it’s financial, experience, knowledge and even market exposure.

If you think that you’ve been shortchanged in the tasks at hand (or any future ones you’re about to partake in), think again, evaluate the situation and find other alternatives if what you find is unsuitable. Many organizations and companies these days prioritize experience much greater than paper-qualifications and skills, hence why it’s not surprising that internships and non-paid jobs are so popular these days. Experience is just simply priceless.

The infographic below uses data or comments derived from a group of design enthusiasts from a specific Reddit discussion. There is a limited set of data which we can rely upon to make a conclusion, but it’s somewhat interesting to ponder upon and discuss.

Enjoy the findings below and don’t forget to leave your views on the comments section below or simply join the discussion on Reddit.

What has been said?

A compilation of comments and the numbers behind them.


Said No


Said Yes

Find out more below


If you’re good at something never do it for free.


There isn’t really any reason to not do a personal project instead, unless they’re a charity or something.


I’ve joined a project I liked as a volunteer. The guy who was heading gave me freedom to do what I want. Half year later, it was a big success. Now I have a lot of clients and I still work on the project, but now I’m being paid.



Nope. Its a huge red flag.



Working for free or doing spec work devalues the work you do industry wide.

If people continue to work for free, people will continue to expect to be able to find people to work for free. It sets a bad standard and makes it harder for you to find a job in your industry in the long run.

Why would someone pay you when they can find another highly motivated person looking for experience willing to work for nothing? Entire industries have ******* themselves over by undervaluing their contribution and accepting working for nothing as the norm.

Don’t be a part of the problem, be a part of the solution.


As for working for free (internship or whatever) screw that. A lot of industries exploit interns – we don’t need the computer industry going that way.


I only work for free on projects I’m passionate about. I’m never passionate about making someone else money, so for a job? No.


Plenty of ways to do free work that are socially responsible. Unpaid internships are not something that should be promoted or encouraged in any way. On the flip side don’t expect high wages either, at least not for your first go around. In the end good wages come with training and experience.


Never work for free. An ebbing tide sinks all ships.


I worked for free a ton when I was first starting out. What a nightmare that was. Working for free sets precedent on your value as a designer. You’re worth more than free. Not to mention the fact that by working for free, you’re undercutting not only yourself, but everyone else who is comfortable charging what they’re worth. ALWAYS GET PAID.


Yeah. But they didn’t ask for it. I mocked up a quick redesign of a landing page for their app just to show I’m capable and fast. Got offered the job on the spot and I’ve been with the company over a year. If it’s a small thing just do it but if they ask for a whole web app obviously that’s a different story.


By end of the day, it all depends on the individual and what the situation is.

Get paid

It’s only fair when you get paid for the work you do, but “how much” depends greatly on the level of skills and experience you possess. Even paid internship programs do exist these days, some of which pay reasonably well.

Personal projects & charity

If your main objective is to either gather experience, learn new things or build your portfolio, start doing some personal projects, or simply volunteer your time and expertise for a charitable cause.


Participate or contribute some of your time to open source or GitHub projects. Pretty sure the main creator appreciates any help they can get.

What’s your verdict?

Leave your views on the comment section below
or click on the button below to join in the discussion at Reddit.

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