Why You Should Avoid A Resume And Work For Free

A university education doesn’t mean what it used to mean, and recent graduates are finding today’s job market particularly frustrating. As freelance marketer Charlie Hoehn points out, a resume and a job application may not always be the best way to go. Instead, he suggests working for free.

While not an option for everyone, as there are still relevant traditional routes to jobs in the medical profession, for example, the direct path (college + job interview = career) isn’t necessarily the best way to go. As Charlie outlines in his TED talk, you can make more progress by just doing stuff. It’s not about working an internship, but working for free for people you respect and who can provide you with work you want to do. Charlie’s been able to work on some very high profile projects with very high profile people by offering his services free of charge. Now people come to him and offer him work. He threw out his resume and worked for free on projects he knew he’d enjoy.

What Charlie doesn’t really discuss is how you afford to do this. His argument is that if you can’t get a job you’re not making money anyway, but if you’re willing to settle for a lot less you can generally get a soul-crushing job just to pay the bills. He recommends against that, but sometimes you won’t have a choice. Perhaps that’s what is necessary to save enough money to pursue this approach, unless you already have the financial freedom to do it now. Whatever the case may be, if you hate the work that you do and want to do something better, it might be time to save up some money and spend your time doing what you love — free of charge.

TEDxCMU — Charlie Hoehn — The New Way to Work [YouTube]

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