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Build Your Personal Brand by Working for Free

Build Your Personal Brand by Working for Free

Build Your Personal Brand

    After reading that headline, you may think I’m insane or tell yourself that working for free is out of the question. 

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      There have been millions of layoffs since the end of 2007 up until now and for college graduates, the competition might make you comatose.  The NACE reports that 41% of students haven’t even started the job search and 27% of graduates are going to graduate school because of the bad economy.  Of course, going to graduate school is going to put you in more debt and you’re betting on the economy coming back in two years.  If you’re trying to get a job right now, you’ll notice that many employers are cutting down salaries of current employees and offers to new hires.  Although, your education is a factor in you getting a job, what’s more important is your work experience.  Just like content is king on the internet, your experience is king when it comes to getting a job. Today, I’m going to explain why you might need to work for free for at least part of your time each week.

      When interviewing, experience trumps income

        Have you ever noticed how resumes don’t have salaries next to each job you’ve had?  You’ll ies ever find a resume that lists salaries or internship compensation.  Salaries are negotiated if there’s a job offer that doesn’t meet the applicants standards.  Corporate salaries are based on job title and you can salaries at various companies by doing to Glassdoor.com.  Since, salaries aren’t listed on resumes, your experience becomes the most important element in getting a job, aside from how you present yourself online and in an interview.  I took two non-paid internships while in college to gain more experience, thus building my personal brand to become a stronger applicant.

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        When I applied for jobs, the experience I gained at those companies really made a difference and it was well worth the compensation sacrifice.  Since it’s hard to get a job right now, start focusing on building your credentials, enhancing your resume and acquiring skills that can help you in future job searches.  It will pay off and you’ll forget that you had to sacrifice compensation.

        Work for free so you remain active

          The worst thing you can do right now is sulk on your couch, with some potato chips, and a coke.  Well, there could be worse, but the point is that you need to stay active at all times.  Recruiters don’t want to talk to people that have been out of the job market for a while, without remaining relevant to their industry or at least trying to acquire some experience. You never want to get into a situation, where you’re in an interview and you’re asked “so what have you been doing recently, I noticed that your last job ended six months ago,” and then not have a good answer.

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          Find people in your network that can help you stay active, by working for them for free if they can’t pay you.  Also, you can do community service or start your own company to at least make it seem like you haven’t given up and that you are aggressive and actually care about your career.

          Work for free while having a side job

            If you work for free to gain experience, you’ll still need a side job to make money.  Work for a company for free part-time to gain experience and also work for another company to get paid.  If you want to get money, and things are getting tough, then it’s not a bad decision to do retail or work at a restaurant to pay the bills.

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            If you do that, and you invest time in building your personal brand online, gaining experience by working for free part-time and job searching constantly, you should be in a good position to get a job when it becomes available.  A lot of college students are making these hard decisions right now because they realize that they don’t have a choice.  If you want to stay ontop during tough times, you’ll have to make tough decisions, but you’ll want to make them before everyone else does for yo.

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            Last Updated on August 20, 2018

            Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

            Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

            Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

            I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

            The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

            People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

            I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

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            “What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
            “What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
            “What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
            “What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

            After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

            One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

            If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

            Everything takes energy

            Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

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            Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

            The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

            Find something that is worth doing

            Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

            When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

            I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

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            When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

            It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

            Other excuses I often hear are:

            “But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
            “I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
            “At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
            “Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

            I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

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            I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

            Conclusion

            Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

            Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

            Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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