Most people have had the opportunity during their lifetime not to charge for any job/service after any work has been done, but to consider it an act of good will. Sometimes it is embarrassing for people to charge for the work done for some reason. The reasons for these decisions are various. Some people look at that relationship in the long run. They think that such an investment will pay off one day. While some people may do jobs for free because they do jobs they love. Yet, free labor can do more harm than good in the long run because of the established perception of thinking that boils down to money = value.
The business world is permeated with psychology and different perceptions of the relationship between work and values. But it is certain that people who charge more for their services are instinctively perceived by other people as more valuable.
People do not have to dwell on the perception of money = value influenced by previous experience in work, relationships and people. If we dare to generalize, people value services and goods that pay more than they get for free. It is simply explained: money is usually a measure of the work and effort behind money. Each of us will naturally appreciate more any job in which we put more effort into because it is “harder to earn/get money”. Therefore, if a product or service is received simply and easily (read for free), chances are high that there is not much to gain from such an investment other than gratitude. Let’s get back to the point: if people are not respected enough to charge for their time and knowledge, other people will respect those people equally (read: zero euros). Young people without experience or those who start their own business usually fall into the trap because their main goal it is not just earnings at the beginning but gaining relevant work experience or establishing themselves in the market.
As much as any experience is valuable for someone’s biography, personal and professional growth, every person has the right to demand compensation at least for the time invested. If a person does not consider that he deserves some compensation because he is not yet a professional in that field, it is quite reasonable to accept a lower hourly rate and compensation for the initial period. It is important that the person determines and explains their price accordingly. Otherwise, you give the impression to others that as soon as you do something or do it for free, it should not be worth much and not at a high level for which they are willing to pay in the long run. Usually once a person provides their product or service for free, product / service value. Unless you have made it clear at the outset that it is a test product or service period. Regular / usual prices should be attached immediately. That way, others may be more aware of the value you gave them, instead of 0 being your initial value.
For young people who agree to do an internship for free, it is important to determine the duration, rights and benefits during that internship and how much salary they expect after completion. If you get involved in the whole process just because of the experience and do not set a fair compensation, you will very quickly feel underestimated and used. This does not benefit you or the long-term quality employer. That way, you can easily enter a vicious circle where you will be able to ask for a base increase of up to 25 percent per year. Then you will have to wait for a decent salary for many years.
All those who follow their heart instead of the mind in the business world fall into a particularly big trap. They often find themselves overburdened with work, lost in overtime work and accumulated frustration because no one appreciates that work as much as that person loves it and enjoys the work. What is hard to accept is that this person is to blame for it. By agreeing to work for 0 euros or a few hours just because you like the job, you have tacitly confirmed to others that such compensation is perfectly fine and will be charged out of love and personal motivations at work. It is perfectly fine to enjoy the business, but also to charge for your services and products in accordance with their market value. If you give goods below price, those goods will soon have no price or market value. If you are primarily focused on personal and professional growth, relevant experience and building long-term relationships, rather than money and profit, it will certainly be difficult to impose a ban on free labor . But when you resist temptation, you will notice that others value your time and work more and treat you with respect. Every person can gain the respect and appreciation of others if they respect themselves first.
Writes Tanja Dzido, a digital consultant on her LinkedIn profile.