My usual recommendation is don’t work for free. Your knowledge is valuable. You are valuable.
If someone can’t afford to pay you now, there’s a low chance they can afford to pay you later.
Equity in 99% of cases is worthless. It’s an empty promise. You can’t pay rent with equity. Often when you decline free opportunities, other opportunities will show up. Having self respect and boundaries is a healthy way to grow your career.
Heck minimum wage is affordable enough for everyone who can offer you work. If someone offers you free work, state your rates and stand your ground. Say you need to pay rent and if they can’t understand that, do they understand business?
Yes I know there are some cases like internships and other opportunities that could be worthwhile but even in California unpaid internships are now illegal. There are some startups that can be rockets. But they usually have money to pay people. If they don’t, are they really rockets?
This also goes when you are seeking to get services. Everyone needs to make ends meet and if you are looking for free, you are doing a disservice to all workers.
I know many people are very hit hard because of covid and job losses. That’s why we offer many free services as we are able to support you. You can get up to 45 minutes of coaching for free with us. That would cost almost $200 normally.
Don’t do free work. If someone hits you up for free work, CC me and I’ll have your back.