I hope you know somebody loves you.
May your dreams stay big, your worries stay small, and you never need to carry more than you can haul....
The benefit unpaid labor offers to a business is pretty clear, but it can also give employees needed experience, a reference letter or even a self-esteem boost in a depressing economy.
Cassie Johnson, a 27-year old in San Marcos, Calif., lost her job as an enrollment adviser for an online university in 2009 and was receiving unemployment benefits for a year before finding an assistant manager position at a Starbucks that's so far from her home she spends most of her pay on gas. Since starting a public relations internship in February, she feels a renewed sense of purpose.
"I'm learning a lot and I feel really good about it. I'm happy. I feel relevant. I'm not making any money, so it's tough, but I feel it's setting me up for a career," Johnson says. "I only have $1.50 left in my checking account right now but I'm living with my boyfriend and he's been really good about supporting me."
Sometimes, gratis work can even lead directly to a paid opportunity. Theresa Potter had been a marketing executive for 30 years when, during a career lull, she agreed to work on a few marketing initiatives for free at Coalescence, a Columbus, Ohio-based custom spice blending firm.
"You have amassed a lot of this information and you like to share it. You like to see companies become successful," Potter says.
Potter's year of volunteering at Coalescence paid off when the company's founders asked her to take the reins as president — a salaried position. She felt comfortable taking the job because she'd become so familiar with the corporate culture and business goals.