Saying yes to uncompensated work can be a smart move.
I’ve done a handful of
pro bono gigs over the years that changed my career forever.
But when we donate our services, our job as independent
professionals is to set a precedent of value. To always remind buyers what the
market pays us, even if they don’t. And to always alert buyers that our time
isn’t just valuable – it’s billable.
Without that declaration, without taking a stand for our own
professional worth, we not only cheapen our instrument, but we also earn a
reputation as a doormat. And that makes it increasingly hard to get fully compensated
work in the future.
We are what we charge, but only if the market knows what we