Working for free, when is it alright?

4 02 2010

In the last year I’ve done a lot of work for free. Let’s say, enough work that if I was paid for it, I’d be writing this from a beach chair in Thailand instead of on a cold, dark, delayed train heading towards Stockholm. Most of the work I’ve been glad to do; such as the webshop I designed for Prinsessan Kawaii or the super secret surface project I worked frantically on during a weekend. But when is it ok to work for free and how do you respectfully tell someone that you do not want to spend your spare time designing websites for them or fixing their computer? Family, neighbours and co-workers are all very important relationships where you have to tread lightly. With personal friends I feel I can be more up front.

I just now sent a letter to an acquaintance explaining that I wouldn’t be able to design a website for him. It sounded like a somewhat interesting project and I might’ve learned something. But I decided not to in the end.





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