Should New Graphic Designers Work For Free?

To help you solve the dilemma, take a look at this interesting infographic:
The debate about when (or if) it is appropriate to work for free has been raging for many years. First this idea was rised for book illustrators in 2001. Some people believe it is a good way for beginners to raise their portfolio, while others believe that working for free de-values your skills and is never a good idea. Here’s a quick look at some of the pros and cons of working for free:
Reasons to work for free
• Working for free gives you a chance to build up a portfolio of real work, instead of logos and website designs for imaginary companies.
• The byline/image credit that you get will look good on your C.V. and help you get your name out there.
• Working for free is a good way to support your favourite charities.
• You will meet new people and make contacts that could serve you well later in your career.
• Free work might lead to paid work in the future.
• Some non-profit organizations offer conference passes, vouchers and small tokens in return for work that would normally command a proper salary.
Why working for free is a bad idea
• The time you spend working for free could be better spent learning new skills or seeking paid work.
• By doing a job for free you are showing that you don’t value your time or skills. It is unlikely that a company that has used your skills for free will suddenly decide to pay you later.
• The sheer number of people willing to work for free in their spare time drives down the value of professional design work.
• You need to make a living – working for free will take up time that could be spent earning money. Can you afford to do that or will some work suffer? If you end up rushing the free projects then they’ll be low quality and useless for your portfolio.
• Clients that expect people to work for free or for very low pay are often the most difficult to work with.