Set clear boundaries and don’t work for free


By: MJ Gonzales | Executive Chronicles

Working is not only about earning salary, it also about having sense of fulfillment and pride.  If you are lucky to have a good job, you are nurturing your skills and passions with purpose.  However, some people may take advantage of your talents intentionally and worst, for free. Do you think working for free is part of building a good relationship?  Better be careful and set clear boundaries for your own good.

Everyone has a capacity to help and offer their gifts for others. However, it should be voluntary and through scrupulous means. Do you think offensive favors like “you’re a doing nothing can you fetch my dog every afternoon” only happens in neighborhood and clans? Nope, it also exists in the corporate world thanks to cunning professionals who are good in sugarcoating their ulterior motives.  They are usually have demanding approaches that lets you think you should follow to get something in return.

Probably, the popular work-for-free demand is “OTY” or overtime thank you, which means employees will extend their office hours without extra pay.  However, there are many causes of OTYs like absenteeism, procrastination, hard to beat deadlines, and unsatisfied clients. On the other hand, you’ll also experience a work for free demand during your job hunting days. Most employers, especially for applicants for creative jobs, may ask original or new work samples to check if candidates’ skills match their requirements.  Its normal these days, but be meticulous too as some of them may use your work for something else.

“Some of them are employers who will give you lengthy and complicated ‘assignments’ to complete during your interview process. Be suspicious! Sometimes there is no job available. The employer just wants to get free consulting work,” Liza Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, shared on Forbes.


The former Fortune 500 HR SVP and columnist added that if you want to consider a similar type of request just allot limited time. “Even principled people don’t always think about the ethics of their actions.”

If you already spot the red flag, save yourself from individuals who are eyeing to use your talents. The generosity in you should not be abused. You are worthy to meet people who genuinely honor your potentials and respect you as a talent.