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September 28, 2011


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I agree that it's ridiculous that anyone would do their jobs for free, even if they do love it. It's very rare, especially in this economy for people to have the ability to pick and choose what they want to do in order to earn a living. Maybe toward the end of the last century, when people were making really good livings could they have quit and transitioned into a career they are passionate about, but the reality now is much different. Today, it's almost to the point were some people have to take anything that pays money or else they will have nothing.

Its completely unrealistic to think everyone would / should want to do their jobs for free. 'hogwash' sums that up. Most people hardly even like their jobs much less love them and you'd have to really love a job to want to do it for free.

I honestly would do part of my job for free to some degree. But I'm sure thats a rare exception. I do computer support work and I've done such work for free to help out people on the internet and friends/family etc. in the past. I don't mind doing some of it for free but it is entirely under my terms. But I would not do my current job for my current employer or any other company for free.

Maybe setting the bar lower to ... would you do your job for free as a volunteer or to help a friend? That makes more sense to me. Liking your job enough to do it to help a friend out is a more realistic expectation level.

This actually gets at one of my career goals. My two main goals are:

1) Save up to be able to retire as soon as possible.
2) Find a career/job that I will want to continue even after I'm financially able to retire, and get into it as soon as possible.

I want to find something that I like doing and find meaningful. I think this is more likely to increase my life satisfaction and happiness than extra income above $50-$75,000.

Well, I get the spirit of the article - do you love your job enough that you do that kind of thing on your own time. I know I do a lot of things that some consider work, on my own time for free. If I was paid to do it, all the better, but I do it because I love it.

I work in health care, so I would do my job for free if it involved helping out after a disaster. Like for 9/11 victims or tornado/earthquake disasters and such. If I could be of help during those times I would be happy to do whatever I could. But I would not want to do what I do everyday for fun. I guess the real question is how much do you love your job. I don't love it. It's OK and it pays the bills, but I wouldn't do it for free.

Sometimes the dream floats through my head that I have a million dollars. Or 900k or 800k. Would I quit my job? Not right away. I would see how things would settle out first. I wouldn't do my job for free but I wouldn't say that I hate it. Putting forth some sort of effort is healthy for the body, soul, and mind.

I agree that if we all lived by that mantra, no one would be working. My requirements for job satisfaction are the following: healthy working environment, sense of accomplishment, adequate compensation (includes salary, benefits, etc.). No matter how passionate you are about a specific field, I think your job will eventually become work.

It's all fine and well to say everyone should choose a career path that they're passionate about, but the plain simple truth is that this isn't sustainable. I don't know anyone that is passionate about garbage collection or janitorial duties, but these are jobs that still need to be done.

Why would i do my job for free?even if i would have loved it..still no...i mean the only way i'd do anything for free would be if i were really realy rich,so rich that i could afford living 5 lives doing nothing.Only then i would do my job for free.

Now on a serious note, you have to pay rent,pay for food,clothes,gas,water,you have to pay for everything,you need money for this,even if you wanted to work for free you couldn't...

So yeah my point is,if you won't do your job for free,but you like the money you get now...stay there...keep it.

it's a fun subject to debate on,but...i guess 99.99% are con and the 0.01% are neutral in this case.

I'd probably do a scaled back version of my job for free. I'd do the dancing with little kids part, but not the organizing everyone else part!

My opinion is, those jobs that people would love so much they would do it for free have really low pay.

I think of it this way: If I had enough money and was "retired" at my age (36), would I do my job for free? I think I'd answer yes, but only for parts of my job. I would work from "home" much of the time (while traveling in different parts of the world), and I wouldn't take useless early morning calls (when I'm too tired to contribute) or put up with bad management or politics. But I enjoy the kind of work that I do (technical research) and the kinds of people that I work with (smart and creative people). When I'm "retired" at 40, I would love the opportunity to keep thinking and learning and contributing. That said, I'm quite happy to get paid too :-)

I agree it is hogwash.

Blogging I'd do for free.

Of course if you did work for free your employer wouldn't expect nearly as much and you would have fantastic job security :-)


I know it's hypothetical but I can't get past the fact that practically speaking, I still have expenses. At one point I taught (music) on the side for "free" - I was paid but didn't keep the money - which was fine but I also had a paycheck from a "day job". Would I do the day job for free? Well, no, how else will I pay my bills.

I'm a web developer. I started down that career path when it was a hobby, i.e., something I did for free, in my spare time, because I wanted to do it. I'll grant you, I'd rather not have a boss, I'd rather not have deadlines, I'd rather have more freedom to pick and choose which projects I work on, etc. Even so, I love what I do, and if I couldn't find anyone to pay me to do it, I would still do it (just without the minor inconvenience of clients), and find another way to make money.

Call me cynical, but any time you have* to do something, you're going to be less than happy about it occasionally. Even a task you'd be willing to do for free becomes unpalatable that one time you'd rather be doing something else, but don't want to lose that days pay(or be yelled at by the boss,or whatever).

*as (I think)Robert Heinlein once pointed out, people almost always confuse "I have to do this" with "I find the consequences of not doing this unacceptable".

I had an uncle who did as jim said - do what he loved outside work hours for free. He was the head mechanic of a Ford dealership. He loved working on cars. That's why our family almost entirely bought Fords. Uncle would tell us what was wrong, do the work, and only charge us for the parts - at the price he paid. So, we basically got car repairs for parts only - no labor.

I once asked if he was glad I never had a car until I was 32. He said he would have loved to work on any car I had. It was his job, his hobby, his love (except for my aunt & cousin).

And, technically, I guess my husband had the same idea. He was born and bred a farmer. When he lived in a large city, he would drive out into the country to find farmers working and volunteer for the day and take no pay but a meal of great home cooking. The last few years of his life he took care of our local fairgrounds without payment. I think they gave him a thank you check a couple of times ($100). His idea of a great life was farming, being paid for it or not. Luckily he had it both ways in his lifetime. And, you really love a job if you will do hard, physical labor for no pay.

Totally agree. You cannot do job for free even if you do love it. I actually know a girl in college who got into photography for free b/c she "loved" it. Fastforward one year, she got a job in a bank and was behind on all of her debt.

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