If you’re a writer, artist, photographer, designer or have any other sort of job people love taking advantage of then these are the tweets and quotes are for you. Out there is a subset of individuals who don’t have their act together enough to call their unpaid slaves “interns”. These people have no real idea what they’re doing but they do know that they probably “have some great ideas” that they’ll bless you with doing all the hard work on.
These people have no money, or if they do, they don’t want to share. But chances are they don’t have anything. So, you’re going to have to be a driven person who hates the idea of working on their own stuff and instead do a project for a random nobody for the chance of “exposure”. Unfortunately you can’t eat exposure or pay the rent with it, but that’s the price you have to pay if you want to be famous one day.
Younger creatives are usually the victims that fall into this trap, so cartoonist and podcaster Ryan Estrada has started a twitter account that pokes fun at these people, by pulling actual job listings by sincere people who would like you to work for absolutely nothing on their passion project that will “definitely make its mark on the world”.
So young creatives, beware of these sorts of people. Don’t feel like you ever need to work for free. It’s easy to dismiss on a job listing, but people will try this to your face as well. Some will even get genuinely grumpy that you’d have the gall to turn down their “very generous offer”.
Even for family and relatives, consider making them pay you a small amount, even if it’s not much. It establishes a certain professionalism, and your family won’t take your skills for granted afterwards cause now they’ve invested just a tiny bit into it.